1,501 new cases reported in Delhi; India’s tally surges past 2.85 lakh
NEW DELHI : The nationwide count of COVID-19 cases jumped over 2.85 lakh and the death toll climbed to 8,000 till Wednesday. The Delhi government said the national capital itself may see 5.5 lakh cases by July-end at the current rate.
India is the fifth worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic after the US, Brazil, Russia, and the UK. Globally, more than 71.5 lakh people have tested positive for the virus ever since its emergence in China last December, while more than 4 lakh have lost their lives.
Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal today said the Lieutenant Governor’s orders overruling his government’s decisions on corona virus would be strictly followed, without question. “This is not the time for politics. This is not the time for disagreements,” the Delhi Chief Minister asserted in his first online statement since he went into self-isolation suspecting a COVID-19 infection.
On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who represents the center, cancelled the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s decision to reserve hospitals except those run by the center for residents of Delhi.
“We won 62 seats (in the 70-member assembly) in the Delhi election. The center has decided to override us and this is not the time to differ. Whatever the center has decided and the Lt Governor has ordered, that will be implemented.
“If political parties keep fighting, corona will win. The entire country has to be united in its fight. You cannot even imagine the crisis we are in.” Mr Kejriwal said it would be a huge challenge to provide hospital beds for COVID-19 treatment, given his government’s worrying estimate of how virus cases will rise by July and the corresponding demand for beds.
From the doubling rate of infection, the Delhi government assesses that by June 15 there will be 44,000 cases, by June 30 there will be one lakh cases, 2.25 lakh cases by July 15 and 5.5 lakh by July 31.
“It is a huge and unprecedented challenge. By July 15 Delhi will need 33,000 beds, and if we include those seeking treatment from outside the city, we will need 65,000. By July 31, we will need a total of 1.5 lakh beds,” said Mr Kejriwal.
“Delhi will need 1.5 lakh beds by July 31 once people start coming to the city for treatment from other states,” CM Kejriwal said. The CM said that out of the 1.5 lakh beds, it is estimated that 80,000 beds will be required for Delhiites.”We have a big challenge ahead. “The AAP government will try to make arrangements to provide treatment to all,” we all have to fight against COVID-19 together,” Kejriwal said.
While cancelling Mr Kejriwal’s decision to reserve hospitals run by the Delhi government and some private hospitals for residents of the capital, the Lieutenant Governor had ordered that everyone should be treated in Delhi without “discrimination” on grounds of being a non-resident.
(With Agency Inputs ).