‘Lockdown not a solution’, says Delhi health minister as Covid-19 cases soar

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Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Saturuled out the possibility of a lockdown despite the increasing pace of daily spike in the cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the city.

“As of now, there’s no possibility of a lockdown. First, it was said that it’s a 14-day cycle between infection and recovery. Experts said if all activities close for 21 days, it won’t spread. Lockdown was extended but it didn’t stop completely. So I don’t think lockdown is a solution,” he told news agency ANI.

Jain’s comments come a day after Delhi logged 1,534 fresh cases, which takes the city’s total confirmed cases to 654,276. The daily spike reported on Friday was the highest since the beginning of this year. This was the second day in a row when daily cases breached the 1,500-mark.

The health minister pointed out that were fewer cases earlier but the count has increased now, following which testing has been intensified. “…conducting 85,000-90,000 tests every day, which is more than 5% of the national average. We are also doing contact tracing and isolation,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

Commenting on the vaccination drive in the city, Jain said not many people are tech-savvy and so they face difficulty in registering for the shot. “Even if they get registered they get busy & don’t reach centers. So, the government has decided to keep 3 pm-9 pm as a window when people can go for vaccination without registration,” he told ANI.

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The minister asserted that hospitals in the city have a sufficient number of beds as of now. “The occupancy is around 20% now, 80% of the beds are unoccupied. We are monitoring this, if occupancy increases, we will increase the number of beds,” he added.

As cases continue to rise, the Delhi Police cited the government directive and said public celebrations and gatherings, congregations during upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navaratri will not be allowed at public places, parks, markets, or religious places across the city. Any person found violating the directives shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law, they added.

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