5 weapons helped Delhi fight Covid-19, says Arvind Kejriwal as he thanks Centre
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said authorities in the national capital are using five weapons in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the city, which has seen a surge in cases, as he thanked the Centre for lending a helping hand.
Arvind Kejriwal, while addressing a virtual news conference, said increasing the number of beds, testing and isolation, pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators, plasma therapy and survey and screening has helped the Capital to tackle the respiratory disease.
“When the lockdown was lifted, we estimated that Covid-19 cases will increase. But, the rise in cases was much more. We had two options—either bring back lockdown or fight corona. We took people’s opinions as well who said the lockdown wasn’t an option,” he said.
Initially, people had trouble getting beds which in turn increased the number of deaths, the chief minister said.
The Delhi government, he said, decided that all the big hospitals will reserve at least 40% of their beds for patients and then converted hospitals into dedicated Covid-19 facilities. Hotels have been also attached with hospitals to ramp up the number of beds, he said.
“The number of beds has increased significantly in the last one week. There are 13,500 beds in Delhi right now and of which 6,500 are occupied,” Kejriwal said.
Next, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, was testing and isolation. Kejriwal said action against errant laboratories and increasing the number of tests have helped.
“In the first week of June, there were around 5,000 tests daily. Now, we are conducting nearly 20,000 tests every day. No other state is doing this. I want to thank the central government for helping us and giving us the first antigen kits. Now, we have ordered over six lakh antigen kits,” he said.
He had said earlier in the day that Capital is following a strategy of “very aggressive testing and isolation” and conducted the highest number of Covid-19 tests in a single day on Friday.
“Delhi conducted highest no of tests in a singly day yesterday- 21,144. We have increased testing 4 times. Delhi now following strategy of very aggressive testing and isolation,” Kejriwal had tweeted.
Pulse oximeter and oxygen concentrators have also helped and the government has given this device to every patient under home isolation.
“Pulse oximeter is working as a security cover for Covid-19 patients,” Kejriwal said.
“It helps them check oxygen levels at frequent levels and alert us if there’s anything serious… We have bought nearly 4,000 oxygen concentrators. Our attempt is to make oxygen available on every Covid bed in every hospital in Delhi,” he added.
The fourth weapon is plasma therapy and Delhi has paved a way for the entire country, he said.
“Plasma therapy is being used by many now. This doesn’t work for patients who are on ventilators or who have multi-organ failure but helps those with moderate symptoms,” he said.
Survey and screening is the fifth weapon to tackle the highly-contagious disease. He was referring to the serological survey of 20,000 people being conducted in the Capital from Saturday.
“We want to especially thank the Centre, which has helped us in every step in this fight. We want to thank the media which pointed to our mistakes and we could rectify them,” he said.
“Our victory is sure but we cannot say when. Corona will be defeated and Delhi will win. All these five weapons are proving to be very effective,” he added.
Delhi, which is overtaken Mumbai in terms of the number of Covid-19 cases, has seen a surge in infections prompting the Centre to ramp up efforts to contain the spread through a five-pronged approach.
There are 77,240 Covid-19 cases and 2,492 deaths in the national capital so far, according to the Union health ministry’s coronavirus dashboard.