Delhi CM Kejriwal warns of possible lockdown
New Delhi, 12 April: As more than 10,000 new infections were detected in Delhi for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned on Sunday that the capital may have to be put under lockdown if hospitals start running out of Covid beds.
“I am not in favour of lockdown. I feel that lockdown is not the solution to Corona. [But] It should be imposed by any government when its hospital structure collapses. Through lockdown, the pace of the spread of disease reduces… If you (citizens) cooperate and the hospital facilities stay under control, we won’t have to impose a lockdown in Delhi,” the Chief Minister said.
“However”, he added, “in case the number of beds in hospitals starts falling short, we might have to impose a lockdown. I am not in favour of lockdown. I just need your cooperation”.
Kejriwal appealed to people to stay at home as much as possible.
Delhi reported 10,774 new cases – and 48 deaths – on Sunday, sweeping aside the previous daily record of 8,500-odd cases reached in November. Delhi has seen nearly 60,000 new cases in April so far.
Of the 11,728 hospital beds reserved for Covid patients in Delhi, 5,363 are vacant at present. Of the 1,153 ventilator beds, only 307 are available. Government hospitals such as Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, AIIMS Trauma Centre, Delhi Government Burari Hospital, Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital, and Northern Railway Hospital have run out of ventilator beds. Seventy-eight private hospitals have ventilator beds for Covid patients; there is no vacancy in 45 of these hospitals.
Kejriwal urged people with mild or no symptoms to avoid getting admitted to hospitals, so that those who are seriously ill can get access.