New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today said that even though no new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the city over the past 40 hours, the Capital is preparing to deal with Stage 3 of the virus spread. A five-member committee has been constituted to prepare a blueprint for dealing with such a contingency.
The CM said his government has also decided to provide a Rs 5,000 grant to all construction workers in the city who have lost their source of livelihood due to the closure of units and construction activity. The number of night shelters and free food distribution points are also being increased so that no one goes to sleep hungry, he added.
‘No new case reported, but planning for Stage 3’
Kejriwal said that 30 confirmed cases have been reported of which 23 are still in hospitals. “But we have to understand that there is nothing to cheer about, there is a long battle ahead and we have to prepare for it because at any time this virus can spread widely and these numbers can go up.”
He said the city also needs to prepare for a sudden spurt in cases. “I have constituted a team of five experts and it will, within 24 hours, prepare a blueprint on tackling the crisis if Delhi does enter Stage 3. We will be prepared but we hope that the situation would not arise.”
Kejriwal also spoke of how over 600 people died in Italy and 150 in the US over the last 24 hours. “When such developed countries are struggling, we need to keep up with the care and vigil that we have maintained,” he said.
‘After lockdown, it is time for curfew’
In order to improve on the aspect of social distancing, Kejriwal said, “We did a lockdown yesterday and today we have started a curfew.” Acknowledging the hardship that many will face, he said: “We will try to minimise them. I understand it would be tough for you. But at this hour it is essential to save everyone’s life and that is why we are taking these steps.”
The Delhi CM also said that he was happy that people were coming forward to help each other. “Yesterday, I had appealed that a large number of daily wagers were finding it difficult to pay their rent. I had appealed to landlords to postpone these payments for a few months. I am glad that many have written and assured that they would not take these payments and would regularly pay all their employees.” He also mentioned how an Additional DCP of North East Delhi took a dialysis patient to hospital in his car.
‘Food for all poor at night shelters, other distribution points’
Kejriwal said the government is also providing food at all night shelters. But he urged people to support this endeavour. He said the number of these shelters would be increased and more distribution points will be opened. “We all have to vow that we will not allow people in our neighbourhood to go hungry.”
In this regard, he said that several people have responded by saying that they would help run community kitchens for the poor.
‘Do not bar entry of nurses, pilots, air-hostesses’
The Delhi CM said he was also pained that in some colonies, while people have lauded the work done by service providers by clapping and beating utensils on Sunday evening, complaints were coming in of landlords ousting nurses from their homes, and of airhostesses and pilots not being allowed into their colonies.
“This is absolutely wrong. They are putting their lives at stake for us and this is how we are behaving with them. We will have to change this mentality. If they are infected, they will be treated, but they don’t have it. Such discrimination is not right and people should vow not to behave like this.”
Kejriwal said that the city also needs to prepare for a sudden spurt in cases. “I have constituted a team of five experts and it will within 24 hours prepare a blueprint on tackling the crisis if Delhi does enter Stage 3. We will be prepared but we hope that the situation would not arise.”