Delhi will not go into lockdown again, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday, following a meeting with top officials over a huge spike in coronavirus cases.
“In the last few days, COVID-19 cases have been increasing exponentially in Delhi. However, there is no need to worry. We are monitoring the situation well. Despite a surge in daily cases, the situation is less serious than compared to the last waves due to a lower death rate,” he said.
“Last year in October, there were nearly 40-50 deaths per day due to COVID-19. The situation is not the same now. The daily death toll due to the virus is around 10-12 persons. Thus, there is no need for a lockdown in Delhi,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr Kejriwal had called the “urgent” meeting with the Health Minister and other officials on Thursday as the city reported 2,790 new coronavirus cases – its highest daily figure this year – along with nine deaths amid a spurt in COVID-19 infections in the country.
The Chief Minister said that 3,583 new cases have been reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours – making it a new high this year and a 28 per cent jump over the day before. A day ago, cases had climbed 53 per cent.
Mr Kejriwal once again pushed for opening up the vaccination drive to all age groups, saying, “Centre should allow states to vaccinate everyone on war footing. Need to involve non-healthcare facilities in inoculation drive.”
Vaccines are currently being given out to only frontline workers and those above 45.
India reported 81,466 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, the highest daily number in six months, as several states were hit by a new wave of the coronavirus.
Health ministry data showed the total number of cases surged to 1.23 crore, making India the third-most hit country from the virus after the United States and Brazil. The number of those dead rose by 469 to 1,63,396.
Vaccination drives have been intensified amid the recent surge of cases, and many states are considering imposing fresh curbs on movement of people.
Maharashtra, that has been worst-hit from COVID-19 so far, reported as many as 43,183 new cases on Friday – its highest since the pandemic spread to India in March 2020. Officials in the state imposed a night curfew over the weekend but are considering stricter control measures, including shutting down religious places and restricting train travel.