Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the government has no plans to impose lockdown in the city as of now, and there will be no need for it if people wear masks.
He said that on Sunday, the city is likely to report 22,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours. He appealed to the public to wear masks and not panic.
“Rising COVID-19 cases are a matter of concern but there is no need to panic. Very few people are getting hospitalised. Wearing mask is very important. There will be no lockdown if you continue to wear mask. There is no plan to impose lockdown as of now,” the Delhi chief minister said in a virtual press conference.
Stating that the state government, the Centre as well as Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal are keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation, Kejriwal said the government is trying its best to impose minimum restrictions to ensure that livelihoods are not hit.
Comparing the ongoing third wave of the pandemic with the second wave in April-May last year, Kejriwal said that on May 7, 2021 there were 20,000 cases reported with 341 deaths but on Saturday Delhi witnessed same number of cases with only seven deaths.
He, however, said that there should not be even a single death.
“On May 7 last year nearly 20,000 COVID beds were occupied while till yesterday there were only 1,500 hospital beds occupied despite having reported same number of cases,” he said.
“I am telling you this data to show that very less people are requiring to go to hospital in this infection and you do not need to panic. We just have to behave responsibly,” Kejriwal said.
He said that a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will be convened on Monday to further review the situation and discuss future efforts.
“We have overcome the dangerous second wave last year and we will sail through this one too,” he said.
The chief minister urged Delhi residents to limit their outings and follow social distancing protocols while requesting unvaccinated individuals to take the jab as soon as possible.
The national capital has been seeing an uptick of daily cases in the last few days, mainly triggered by the Omicron variant of the infection. According to data by health department, Delhi recorded 20,181 new COVID-19 cases and logged seven deaths on Saturday. The positivity rate rose to 19.60 per cent. To curb the spread of the virus, the DDMA has already imposed a weekend curfew in the city.
(With inputs from agencies)