Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal knows that life needs to go on because completely overpowering Covid-19 won’t be possible without a vaccine. Delhi government is confident it has the resources to manage any future challenges if and when the national capital is allowed to reopen for business.
“If we think that corona (Covid-19 pandemic) will go away with the lockdown, we’ll be mistaken”, urged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on national television. Delhi, which remains one of the coronavirus hotspots in India has been designated a red zone by the central government as part of the staggered reopening strategy after 40 days on lockdown.
Delhi Government has the healthcare resources and readiness for any challenge Covid-19 throws our way.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
The national capital Delhi is among the hardest-hit areas in the country, but the Aam Aadmi Party government took up the battle head-on. In a recent interview with national news channel Aaj Tak, CM Kejriwal gave a brief synopsis of Delhi’s fightback against the disease spread. The state has around 3700 positive cases.
Watch: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal talks to Aaj Tak about the government’s Covid-19 preparations.
Overpowering the virus
In comparison to other states, Delhi started with a handicap in terms of the number of infections. When India went under lockdown in late March, most states had no cases, while the number in Delhi was already between 1700 to 1800 cases. Indeed, the AAP’s acclaimed focus on healthcare during its first term came in handy as the government was able to ensure order and resources to manage the upcoming crisis.
The AAP government took immediate measures to curb the spread in the national capital. Over thirty-five thousand people were home quarantined. The government booked over 5000 Hotels and Dharamshalas (rest houses) to cater to this extensive quarantine need. It built Covid-19 care centres and testing centres. The state has fared appreciably in its efforts by keeping the number of infections from spiking to unmanageable levels. Over 1000 patients have recovered and gone back home in the national capital. “It could have been twenty-five or thirty thousand cases when today it stands at thirty-seven hundred or so,” stated CM Kejriwal.
How PM Modi’s lockdown helped?
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was highly appreciative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated nationwide lockdown, calling it an extremely prudent decision that helped curb a larger Covid-19 outbreak and also saved countless lives. The lockdown helped slow the speed of cases, giving time to states to gather resources and amp up healthcare facilities.
This saved India from becoming another Italy, Spain or USA where authorities were unable to control the community spread and cater to the infected, seeing death toll in tens of thousands. The lockdown helped give time for the governments to procure sufficient PPE and testing kits, revamp hospitals into Covid-19 centres, and manage contact tracing, quarantine and identification of potential hotspots before they exploded. In essence, the lockdown prevented a nationwide chaos.
Case for reopening Delhi
Delhi is one of the red zones as India prepares for phase 3 of the lockdown from May 4. The staggered reopening leaves Delhi more or less closed along with other major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. Arvind Kejriwal isn’t convinced with the approach and also disappointed that Delhi wasn’t allowed to gradually restart its economy.
The Chief Minister assured that the Delhi government has adequate readiness to cater to whatever cases come in the future are treated before becoming fatal. He said that the Delhi government is prepared for the corona challenges ahead, following the strategy of ‘test, test, test’. Testing in Delhi is thrice the national average.
Delhi is following the strategy of ‘test, test, test’ with testing numbers thrice the national average.
However, Kejriwal emphasized on the fact that coronavirus won’t go away tomorrow and it is time we make up our minds that life will have to go on with it. He explained, “If we think that we can stop the spread completely, it won’t happen. All green zones can also turn red tomorrow. The idea should be ensuring that no one dies. A Covid-19 infection should become like any other similar fever. Go to the hospital. Get well. Go home.”
The CM touted the exploits in ensuring zero Dengue fatalities in more than 2000 cases in Delhi last year. He also urged the central government to rethink its stance on complete lockdown in Delhi urging them to let the infection-free parts open while keeping the 97 containment zones quarantined.