Step out only if you must, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi : 12 April, 2021 (Times of India)

NEW DELHI: Terming the fourth wave of Covid-19 infection more dangerous than the previous ones, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged Delhiites to stay home and venture out only if absolutely necessary. The CM said that Delhi government did not want to impose a lockdown and people should get admitted to a hospital only if they really needed to, as any government would have to impose a lockdown if the hospital management collapsed.
"The fourth wave is very dangerous. It is spreading very fast, so much so that it is beyond the understanding of many people," Kejriwal said in a digital press briefing. "This peak is even more dangerous than the one we witnessed in November," he added.
"We do not want to impose a lockdown, but yesterday, helplessly, the government has been ordered to impose a few restrictions," Kejriwal said. "I am not in favour of a lockdown. I feel that lockdown is not the solution to corona. It should be imposed by any government when its hospital structure collapses (sic)," he said.

He said if Delhiites cooperated and hospital facilities stayed under control, the government wouldn't have to impose a lockdown. "However, in case the number of beds in hospitals starts falling short, we might have to impose a lockdown," he said, requesting people to leave hospital beds for more serious patients.

"If everyone starts to run to the hospitals, we would fall short of beds, ventilators and ICU facilities," Kejriwal said, adding that those who are asymptomatic, or have 'simple' symptoms should remain in home isolation.

He said some people were only going to private hospitals, but their bed capacity was lower. He said very good treatment was being provided in Delhi government's hospitals now, adding that Delhi Corona mobile application, launched last June, showed bed availability in real time. Patients, he added, should be taken straight away to a hospital where beds were available instead of running from one facility to another.

Kejriwal said it was a strange contradiction that now that we had a vaccine for Covid, the infection was spreading rapidly and, thus, citizens needed to be vaccinated at a faster pace. He said that he had requested the central government multiple times to remove all restrictions on the vaccination process. "The Delhi government is ready to go to each and every house and vaccinate the people," he said. He said that 65% of patients in Delhi were less than 45 years old and all restrictions on age and on opening up of centres should be removed.

"This is not the time for politics or pointing fingers at each other. We could indulge in politics later. As of now, we should work together and serve the citizens of Delhi," he said.

Kejriwal said: "Many people who don't wear a mask say that it has been a year and they are now tired. Think about our doctors, nurses and the paramedic staff who have been working day and night, 24 hours, from the past one year. Aren't they tired? They are more tired than you are. If they can work for 24 hours from the past one year, risking their own life, then the least you can do is wear a mask."

"The way that Delhiites faced the previous three peaks with such great vigour, this time too we will face the fourth wave together," the CM added.