'Be watchful, next three months important': Niti Aayog's VK Paul tells Delhi government

VK Paul also suggested that the Delhi government consult the Centre before imposing any travel restrictions in the capital.

Published: 23rd July 2021 04:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2021 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi COVID cases

Healthcare worker testing a man for COVID-19 at Delhi railway station. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has been advised to remain watchful as the next three months are important and unlocking activities can lead to an increase in cases. At a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) earlier this month, Niti Aayog member V K Paul suggested that the city government consult the Centre before imposing any travel restrictions.

Dr Paul said that “unlock activity could lead to an increase in cases, though at present the positivity rate is at its lowest”, according to the minutes of the meeting made public on July 20. “The next three months are important; we need to be watchful,” the Niti Aayog member of health said.Paul suggested that the “advice of the Government of India should be taken before imposing any restrictions on the movement of inter-state travel with Delhi being the capital of the country”.

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Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who chaired the DDM A meeting, suggested that rather than asking for negative RT-PCR test reports, vaccination certificates should be the criteria, as it will also promote vaccination. At the meeting, Chief Secretary Dev raised the issue of idle stocks of vaccines with the private sector. Paul suggested the Delhi administration may explore options, including procuring such vaccine stocks.

Dr Samrian Panda of the ICMR told the DDM A that the third wave is “unlikely to be as severe as the second wave”. He said that different states faced heterogeneous situations during the second wave. Some states initiated lockdown measures close to the peak of the second wave and some at an early stage. He mentioned that a substantial third wave would be plausible if any new and more infectious variant emerges and escapes prior immunity in the absence of adequate lockdown measures.



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