Delhi is one of the places in the country where ‘only minimum relaxations’ should be allowed and stringent action needs to be taken to combat the current COVID-19 situation, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Monday. His remarks came a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the capital is ‘ready to lift the lockdown’.
“I should not comment on what more needs to be done in Delhi, as it may be taken as a political statement. But considering the current status, I personally feel that more stringent action needs to be taken in the national capital to combat COVID-19. I think that minimum relaxation should be given by Delhi government during coronavirus-induced lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the Health Minister said.
Delhi government had on Sunday announced the list of activities permitted during the extended lockdown period from May 4 onwards. “The time has come to re-open Delhi. We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus,” Kejriwal declared at a press conference. Among these are shops selling liquor, tobacco, industrial activities such as manufacturing units of essential goods. After the relaxation, People queued up for kilometres outside liquor shops in the national capital, flouting physical distancing norms necessary to contain the deadly coronavirus.
Delhi also allowed all government offices to be opened, but only 33 per cent attendance will be allowed in offices dealing with non-essential activities.
Commenting upon the current situation regarding the efforts taken by the government to combat COVID-19, Vardhan said, “India’s COVID-19 mortality rate of 3.2 per cent is the lowest in the world. We have taken a pro-active, pre-emptive, and graded approach. We are improving our testing capacity and deploying different strategies in different zones to curb the spread of COVID-19.”