Delhi needs 1.60 lakh beds by July end, only 9,173 available now: Kejriwal

Two days after Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal overturned the Delhi government’s decision to reserve hospital beds for residents of the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that he will accept the decision of the Central government and the L-G for treatment of people coming from other states to Delhi and there should be no politics on the issue.

Kejriwal said that the national capital needs 80,000 beds by 31 July (and this figure is only for Delhi) to effectively deal with the Covid-19 challenge in the city. The CM has himself decided to take command and fight it out from the front. He said whether it is BJP, AAP or Congress, no political party should indulge in a fight or else the coronavirus will win.

Kejriwal said, “The Cabinet of Delhi had decided that only Delhi residents should be treated in government and private hospitals in Delhi for coronavirus. This was the decision of the elected government of Delhi. Some people in their opinion said that the Lieutenant Governor cannot reverse the decision of the elected government. I would say that the Central government and the Lieutenant Governor have decided and we should respect this decision. This is not the time for differences within us. The order given by Lieutenant Governor and the Central government will be implemented. All I want is to send a message to the people of Delhi and AAP karyakartas that we will implement this decision. We need not fight or debate on it.”

Kejriwal also highlighted challenges that Delhi might face in the coming days in dealing with the ever-increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. Kejriwal added, “The figures presented by the government at the DDMA meeting show that the corona will spread very fast in Delhi in the coming days. There are likely to be 44,000 cases on 15 June. There will be 100,000 cases by 30 June. By 15 July, there will be a quarter of a million cases and about 5,32,000 cases by 31 July. Given this, we will need 6,681 beds by 15 June and 80,000 beds by 31 July and this figure is only for Delhi. If we look at the old records, 50% people will come from outside i.e. we will need around 1.50 lakh beds by 31 July. The challenge is big and now the mass movement should begin–just like we did a mass movement during the oddeven campaign, now we have to do it at this time as well.”

Kejriwal admitted that there are many people in Delhi who are not getting beds. Kejriwal thanked the media for constantly warning the Delhi government about the problems of the common people. As per the latest numbers, there were 48 deaths reported in the last 24 hours in Delhi, which is the highest spike in deaths reported in a single day. In the last 24 hours, 1,501 patients infected from coronavirus have been reported which has taken the total number of patients to 32,810.

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