Not upping curbs to protect livelihood: CM

DDMA meeting today to decide on action plan; COVID patients on ventilator support rise from 27 to 44 in 24 hours

There is no plan to impose a lockdown in the Capital and the Delhi government will not need to implement one if people wear masks and follow COVID protocols, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday.

The statement came on a day when the Capital recorded 17 deaths and 22,751 new cases. However, a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority will be held on Monday to review the COVID situation with experts deciding the next course of action.

Need to be responsible

In his first appearance after recovering from COVID-19, Mr. Kejriwal said, “We don’t want to impose a lockdown. The restrictions imposed are only to curb the spread. We are not heightening restrictions to protect livelihood of the masses.” He added that there was no need to be scared of COVID but there was a need to be responsible and always wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

According to Sunday’s health bulletin, 96,678 tests were conducted with a test positivity rate of 23.53%. The Capital has 60,733 active cases out of whom 35,714 are in home isolation and 1,618 are in hospitals.

The number of new cases reported on Sunday was the highest since May 1 last year when the city recorded 25,219 cases with a positivity rate of 31.61%.

The data also show the number of COVID-19 patients on ventilator rising from 27 to 44 over a period of 24 hours.

‘Lower death rate’

Despite the rise in deaths from seven reported on Saturday to 17 on Sunday, Mr. Kejriwal said Delhi is seeing a lower death rate and lower hospitalisation rate than the last wave.

Drawing a comparison, he said on May 7 last year, 20,000 cases were recorded and 341 deaths were reported whereas on January 8 with the same number of cases, seven deaths were reported.

He said around 20,000 beds were occupied on May 7 but on Saturday, only 1,500 beds were occupied for the same number of cases.

“Our motive of illustrating the situation in terms of data is to reduce panic to a minimum but not to make people irresponsible. There is no need to be scared but you cannot stop wearing masks thinking it is mild,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Appealing to the people not to step out unless they have to, he said the government is looking to see the wave through with least number of curbs so that it does not hamper the earning of anyone’s daily bread.

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