Schools won’t reopen till Covid is beaten: Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said schools in the national Capital will not reopen until the Covid-19 situation is completely under control. The CM made the announcement in his address during the Delhi government’s Independence Day celebrations, which were curtailed this year due to the pandemic and were held at the Secretariat at ITO instead of the Chhatrasal Stadium.
Addressing cabinet ministers, legislators, officials and the seven corona warriors, who were special invitees at the Delhi government’s Independence Day function, the chief minister talked about the ‘Delhi Model’ and emphasised how aggressive testing, home isolation and plasma therapy were the game-changers in the Capital’s fight against Covid-19.
“In June, many people had started leaving Delhi because Covid-19 had spread widely in the city. But in just a few weeks, the two crore people of Delhi controlled the situation with their resolve, hard work and dedication. Though the situation is much better than two months ago, we still have a long way to go. We have not won the battle yet,” Kejriwal said during his Independence Day speech.
He thanked all stakeholders, including the Central government, the corona warriors and various organisations.
“When I meet parents, they all request only one thing—that schools should not reopen yet. We care for your children as much as you do. I want to assure all parents that we will not reopen schools in Delhi until we are fully convinced (about the city’s Covid-19 situation),” Kejriwal said.
Unlike previous years when the Delhi government’s independence day function was held at the Chhatrasal Stadium, this time, owing to the pandemic, it was organised at the Delhi secretariat at ITO. Fewer people were invited due to restriction on large gatherings.
The chief minister also announced that from next week the Delhi government will start sending oxygen concentrators to the homes of Covid-19 patients even if they have recovered from the disease.
“These days we are hearing about cases where a Covid-19 patient tests negative, is declared recovered and is discharged from the hospital. But, within hours or a day or two, suddenly the person’s oxygen concentration decreases and the person dies. To prevent this, from next week we will be sending oxygen concentrators to all those who need it,” he said.
Kejriwal had on June 22 announced the same while launching the scheme of distributing pulse oximeters to all Covid-19 patients under home isolation. Officials said while distribution of pulse oximeters has started, the oxygen concentrator drive could not take off in full swing due to some “technical issues”.
While adding that the subsidies on water, electricity and bus rides for women will continue, he also talked about reviving the economy by consulting with traders and entrepreneurs.
He also highlighted how the Delhi government managed to reduce air pollution, an annual crisis in Delhi during the winter months, and deaths caused by dengue and other mosquito borne diseases during the monsoon.
The CM announced re-launching of Delhi government’s ‘10 Hafte-10 Baje-10 Minute’ (10 weeks-10’O clock-10 minutes) programme to check cases of dengue and other monsoon diseases. The drive was first launched in September last year. The campaign, Kejriwal said will be launched again from the first week of September during which people would be encouraged to inspect their homes for stagnant water to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
Before his formal speech, Kejriwal shared a video message in which he urged people to take three pledges. “First, today take the pledge that neither will you give nor accept bribe. Second, pledge against pollution. Do not contribute to pollution - be it air, water or land. Third, keep your city and environment clean. Do not litter,” he said.
Talking about the many firsts which the Capital has seen during the pandemic, Kejriwal said Delhi was the first to introduce the home isolation model in India which further helped in scaling up testing. Another first was starting the plasma therapy through which more than 750 people have recovered, he said.
“The Delhi government is the first government in the country to have reduced the price of diesel by ₹8 straightaway. I think this will also affect the inflation rate and help push the economy forward… Our’s is also the only government to announce an assistance of ₹1 crore on the death of a Corona warrior. There is no monetary value attached to the lives of the people, they are invaluable to their families, but this gave the Corona warriors assurance that there is a government that takes care of them, and if they are working for the people of the country by risking their lives, the government is also working for them,” the chief minister said.
During the ceremony, the government honoured seven people which included an assistant superintendent and three head warders. The corona warriors included additional district magistrate (Central) Rajeev Singh Parihar, Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital’s senior medical officer Hirdesh Kumar, LNJP Hospital’s nursing officer Sonu, police constable Pradeep Chauhan, CATS ambulance driver Tej Bahadur, Civil Defence volunteer Dina Nath Yadav and municipal sanitation worker Ashok Kumar.