"Delhi declares war on corona. We have doubled testing, started testing at markets, bus stands, mohalla clinics etc. Test, test, test. Isolate infected people and provide them good treatment. I have told officers not to worry if the number (of cases) increases due to multifold testing," Kejriwal later tweeted.
Declaring a “war” on coronavirus, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Delhi is attributable to doubling of testing, but asserted that the situation in the city is completely under control and there is no need to panic.
Addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal said he is not worried about the data, but more concerned about keeping people healthy.
“Delhi declares war on corona. We have doubled testing, started testing at markets, bus stands, mohalla clinics etc. Test, test, test. Isolate infected people and provide them good treatment. I have told officers not to worry if the number (of cases) increases due to multifold testing,” Kejriwal later tweeted.
On Friday, Delhi recorded 2,914 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike here in 69 days. This is the fourth successive day in September when over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in a day. Also, over 36,000 tests were conducted on Friday.
“The biggest reason for the increase in the number of positive cases in the last few days is that the Delhi government has doubled daily testing to 40,000 from around 18,000-20,000 a week ago.
“You can see this doubling of testing as a big attack on the coronavirus pandemic. We have mounted this big assault against coronavirus. I would ensure testing of everyone every day if it was possible for me,” the chief minister said at the media briefing.
Kejriwal said some people opposed doubling the number of tests, but now everyone is on the same page.
“We have doubled tests to identify more infected people so that they are isolated to prevent further spread. Do not think that the situation has deteriorated,” he said.
The chief minister asserted that COVID-19 cases in the national capital have “slightly” increased in the last few days, but the situation is completely under control and there is no need to panic.
In March, the World Health Organization, in its recommendation for countries to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, had said, “Test, test, test. Test every suspected case. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.”
Kejriwal said on Saturday that he has been “honestly” presenting the COVID-19 situation before the people of Delhi from time to time since the virus started spreading four-five months ago.
Appealing to Delhiites to follow preventive measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing, he reiterated that there is no scope for being negligent.
The chief minister asserted that there is no need to worry with the rise in the number of coronavirus cases, adding that he would need to worry if the number of deaths increases.
The AAP government has taken several steps to reduce deaths due to the virus, Kejriwal said.
“Yesterday (Friday), 2,914 cases were reported but only 13 fatalities and the death rate was 0.4 per cent which is the lowest not only in the country but the whole world.
“A day earlier, the cases were 2,737 and fatalities were 19 which is 0.6 per cent death rate. Since August 15, the fatality rate in Delhi is about 1 per cent while the national figure is 1.7 per cent,” he said.
According to the chief minister, the situation in Delhi is much better as the recovery rate here is 87 per cent against the national average of 77 per cent.
There is no shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in Delhi. Out of 14,000 beds, only 5,000 are occupied, Kejriwal said. “Of those 5,000 beds, 1,600-1,700 are occupied by those who belong to other states.”
During the media briefing, the chief minister said the government had made plans and if the need arises, it will increase the number of beds, but presently, there are sufficient beds in the hospital.
“The number of Delhi patients is not increasing in hospitals. The number of patients is not increasing, deaths are not increasing and people are recovering after infection,” he said.
Kejriwal warned that some people in Delhi have become lax and negligent. They have started violating social distancing and were not wearing masks, he said.
“Some people are becoming negligent, not wearing masks and also not following social distancing. We have to go to our jobs, run the household, take care of children and revive the economy. But, we should not become negligent. So, wear masks and follow social distancing,” the chief minister said.
“Also, some people are not getting tested despite having a fever. Such persons not only endanger their own lives, but they also put their family and neighbours at risk. COVID-19 tests are free, so go for testing and do not be negligent.”
The Delhi government has improved health services and upgraded its hospitals and mohalla clinics to such an extent in the past five years that people from all over the country come here for treatment, Kejriwal added.