Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said the projection of 5.5 lakh coronavirus cases in the capital by the end of July came from the central government and he shared it with the public to alert people. His clarification came after Union Minister Amit Shah said Mr Sisodia's statement had created fear among the people.
"No one can predict what will happen tomorrow but all the projections that were being shared in the Government of India portal, I shared that on 8th June. I felt it was important to share with public because public also need to be on alert. There can be a different viewpoint also," Mr Sisodia told NDTV.
Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the centre had to "step in" after Mr Sisodia's comment and also assured that Delhi will not have 5.5 lakh cases by July 31. Delhi has reported nearly 90,000 coronavirus cases including 2,803 deaths so far,
"Around the second week of June, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that by July 31 there will be 5.5 lakh persons infected with the virus. He said that there will be no place left, no beds left and the situation will be difficult. This created a lot of fear in the minds of people in Delhi," Mr Shah said in an interview to news agency ANI.
"I do not want to go into whether estimate was right or wrong. But a situation of fear arose and some people started mulling an exodus. Managing the COVID situation in Delhi is the job of Delhi government. But after Sisodia's statement, I felt the centre needed to step in," he added.
Responding to the charge, the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, said, "As long as people of Delhi are safe, I don't care who takes credit. Safety of Delhi residents is paramount, rest is all politics."
"No government is competent to face the situation alone. Everyone needs everyone. Saying we can manage alone, will be very arrogant of a government. So [Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal went with folded hands to the centre, RWA (Residents' Welfare Association) and every one," Mr Sisodia said.
Mr Sisodia assured that Delhi right now has more than twice the number hospital beds compared to patients. The capital also was conducting the highest number of tests in the country, he said. "We have 6,000 patients and 15,000 beds as of date. We are testing 20,000 people every day," he said.
He said Delhi and Mumbai had emerged as the biggest COVID-19 hotspots because of the number of people who arrived in the city in the first three months of the year. The Deputy Chief Minister also warned about the consequences of too many restrictions, saying, "There is no vaccine for the damage to education and economy."
"We are hoping to reopen schools if things don't go worse. August will be a good month to reopen if things continue the way they are and don't get worse," the Aam Aadmi Party leader added.