NEW DELHI: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday ruled out the possibility of imposing lockdown again in the national capital. Delhi reported over 1,500 coronavirus cases for the third day on the trot on Saturday, while 10 more people, highest in around two-and-a-half months, succumbed to the disease, the health department said. The positivity rate stood at 1.70 per cent.
Jain said that lockdown is no solution hence people must follow coronavirus protocol to prevent its further spread. "As of now, there is no possibility of another lockdown. We had tried it earlier with not much success. Experts had said that due to its 14-day cycle, a 21-day lockdown would stop the spread of the virus but this did not happen. So for me, lockdown is no solution," said the minister.
He added that the concrete reason for the rise in coronavirus cases is not known so we will have to follow all the safety measures and wear masks in public places. "Experts from the beginning have been stating that one must not believe that we would get rid of the virus any time soon and we have to learn to live with it," he said.
"People have not been cautious with regard to wearing masks. I believe that if we have already been educated on how to prevent it, one must better follow the same measures without creating an issue or fuss about it," he added.
Jain also urged people to celebrate Holi at home and to avoid public gatherings on the occasion. He said that the Delhi government is setting up teams in order to implement the measures with regard to restrictions on public gatherings on Holi.
"Such events must be avoided. The district magistrates and Delhi Police are creating teams in every district. Legal action would be taken against violators," Jain warned. The health minister added that from April 1, vaccination for people of 45 years of age or above will start.
"We are doing 90,000 tests daily, which is five times more than the country’s average. 80 per cent of general and ICU beds in COVID hospitals are empty. Beds will be increased if needed. Random testing is being done at the railway station and airport to check people coming from outside to the city," the minister added.
Putting stress on strict compliance of COVID protocols, Jain said that earlier, the compliance was really good so the number of cases had reduced drastically. "For the past 10-15 days it has been felt that the compliance has decreased for which we are trying to adopt strict measures and appealing to the citizens to comply with the rules, the most important of them being wearing masks in public places due to which its spread can be contained. I would like to appeal to the citizens that even though more than 10 lakh people have been vaccinated in Delhi, they too should wear masks in public," he said.
The national capital registered 1,558 new infections which pushed the tally to 6,55,834. This is the highest number of cases since December 15 last year when 1,617 people tested positive for the virus, according to official data.
Numbers remain high
The city had recorded 1,534 cases on Friday, 1,515 cases on Thursday, 1,254 cases on Wednesday and 1,101 cases on Tuesday. The active cases rose to 6,625 from 6,051 on Friday.