Delhi reported 293 fresh COVID-19 cases — the second highest in a day — taking the total tally in the city to 2,918, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the implementation of the MHA’s guidelines on the opening of shops, but said the lockdown will not be relaxed beyond what the Centre has suggested.
According to the health department, as many as 877 patients have been cured till now, while 54 have died of the disease. No fresh death has been reported in the last 24 hours.
The first highest number of coronavirus cases being reported in a day was 356 on April 13.
On Sunday, nineteen more staffers of Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital in North Delhi’s Jahangir Puri area tested positive novel coronavirus, taking the total number of cases at the facility to 59.
Till Saturday, the number of staffers affected by the virus stood at 40. According to a senior official, 68 more samples are yet to be tested.
“The critically ill patients will remain in the hospital. The hospital management will take care of them,” said North Delhi District Magistrate Deepak Shinde said.
The hospital will be closed down for new patients for the next three days, an official said, adding all staff at the hospital will be screened for the COVID-19.
The number of containment zones rose to 97 in the national capital, with new two such zones coming up on Sunday.
Three mediapersons have also tested positive for coronavirus, sources said.
They said among the infected persons, one is a freelance photographer while the two are camerapersons.
Recently, the Delhi government had set up a testing centre where hundreds of mediapersons underwent COVID-19 test.
Addressing an online media briefing on Sunday, Kejriwal said, “We are going through difficult times. We will have to continue our efforts to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections in Delhi.”
He said his government was implementing the Centre’s guidelines on opening of neighbourhood and stand-alone shops during the lockdown till May 3.
No markets and malls will be allowed to open in the national capital and all shops in COVID-19 containment zones will remain shut, the chief minister added.
“The Delhi government will maintain status quo and will not relax lockdown restrictions till May 3, except those permitted by the Union home ministry,” he said.
Kejriwal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the nationwide lockdown would last till May 3, and added there was a need to see what decision the Union government takes on it.
“We will decide our future course of action and set our direction once the Centre takes decision on whether ongoing lockdown be extended or not,” he said.
“If we must follow lockdown rules, we can get rid of coronavirus,” he said.
Late in the evening, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev issued an order, implementing the Ministry of Home Affair’s guidelines and said that social distancing will be strictly followed.
Deputy Commissioners of Police will ensure strict compliance of the order, Dev said.
On Sunday, a staff member of Batra Hospital in South Delhi also tested positive for the virus. She was working in the pharmacy of the hospital.
“Four family members are high risk contacts and one shopkeeper is a low risk contact.
“We are putting high risk contacts under institutional quarantine and low risk contact under home quarantine. Testing for high risk has been done and the report is awaited,” a official at the district administration said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has launched an exercise to prepare a detailed plan for students of the city who are stranded abroad due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked all states and Union territories to furnish data on such students, they said, adding that the Centre would take the final call on a possible evacuation.
Accordingly, Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev has asked officials to prepare a list of students stranded abroad and suggest measures for screening and quarantine among others upon their return to the city, the sources told PTI.
“Delhi is also compiling its data of its students stranded abroad in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in several counties,” a source said.
As three cases of coronavirus were reported from Azadpur Mandi (market), the Agricultural Produce Marketting Committee (APMC) on Sunday issued guidelines to regulate the movement of empty vehicles to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A DDA ground in Burari has been earmarked as the holding area for empty vehicles to reduce the traffic in and around the market, the committee’s guidelines read.
“All empty vehicles have to go to Burari ground and take a token before coming to the mandi,” it said.
A total of 3,300 tokens will be issued from 5 am to 9 pm everyday on first-come-first-serve basis.
“300 tokens will be issued for the first slot – 5 am to 9 am. After that, 200 tokens will be issued every hour till 9 pm,” the committee said.
The Delhi Minorities Commission has demanded that Tablighi Jamaat members who are kept at quarantine camps in the city and have not tested positive for coronavirus be released, as they have completed twice the stipulated quarantine period of 14 days as COVID-19 suspects.
In a letter to Delhi Health minister Satyendar Jain, commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan and member Kartar Singh Kochhar also claimed that facilities for food and medicines at these camps were poor.
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