Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (Video screengrab – Arvind Kejriwal/Twitter)
New Delhi: Even as daily COVID-19 cases in the national capital crossed the 20 thousand mark, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal insisted that there were no plans to impose a lockdown at this time. The AAP Chief had tweeted earlier today that he had recovered from COVID-19 and was now “back at your service”.
On Saturday, Delhi reported more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases, up from 17,335 on Friday. The numbers incidentally denote the highest single-day caseload since the beginning of May 2021. Addressing a virtual press conference, Kejriwal said that the city would report an estimated 22,000 cases today.
He however ruled out the possibility of a lockdown at this time, insisting that the administration wanted to do its best to avoid such stringent curbs. The CM said that this could change if people refused to wear masks or follow COVID-19 protocols. “Rising COVID-19 cases is a matter of concern but there is no need to panic. Very few people are getting hospitalised. Wearing mask is very important. There will be no lockdown if you continue to wear mask,” Kejriwal said.
“Our attempt is to impose minimum restrictions so livelihoods are not affected,” he added.
Despite the rising tally, the CM assured that the situation was a marked improvement upon similar caseloads from last year. “Last year on May 7 too there were around 20,000 cases. On that day there were more than 300 deaths. But yesterday when there were 20,000 cases, there were seven deaths. Even one should not happen, but in comparison….” he said.
While hospital occupancy remains low thus far, the Delhi government has increased the available COVID-19 beds from 4,350 to 5,650 in 14 hospitals. ICU beds have been increased to 2,075 across the hospitals, and COVID-19 care centres have been made operational from Saturday.