NEW DELHI: The AAP government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that no decision has been taken yet on imposing a curfew to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital.
The AAP government further apprised the high court that any decision in this regard would depend on the existing COVID-19 situation in the national capital. The response from the AAP government came after the High Court termed as alarming the number of deaths crossing 2,000 in November due to COVID-19 in Delhi.
Responding to a query by the high court on any plans to impose night/weekend curfews, the AAP government said though there is no such plan to impose any kind of a curfew, it is under ”active consideration” depending on the number of Covid-19 infections in Delhi.
Expressing concerns over the situation, the high court had asked the AAP government to explain what kind of protocols are in place to ensure that 50 person cap on wedding attendees is enforced. The HC had also directed the Delhi government to avoid cash transactions for paying fines for violating COVID-19 norms and asked it to create a portal for it.
”What have you done with fine amounts collected for the violation of COVID-19 norms? Use it for a good cause,” the HC asked the Delhi govt. The HC noted that the RTPCR testing numbers were increased by the Delhi govt after the loss of several lives and a lot of prodding by the court.
The national capital has witnessed 2,364 deaths due to coronavirus since October 28, when the daily rise in infections breached the mark of 5,000 cases for the first time, according to official data.
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, 99 more fatalities on Wednesday pushed the city’s total death toll due to the disease to 8,720. It was after five days that Delhi recorded single-day deaths below 100.?
The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.
While 131 COVID-related deaths were recorded on November 18, the highest till date, Delhi registered its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11. On Thursday, Delhi had recorded 7,546 cases, followed by 6,608 on Friday, 5,879 on Saturday, 6,746 on Sunday, 4,454 on Monday, 6,224 on Tuesday and 5,246 on Wednesday, according to the government data.
The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 5,45,787 on Wednesday, of which 4,98,780 have recovered from the virus, the data shows.
Late hospital admissions leading to COVID-19 cases turning critical, shortage of ICU beds, unfavourable weather and rising pollution are among the factors experts attribute to the spike in COVID-19 deaths in Delhi, health experts have said.
Going by the epidemiological trend, the severity of the disease is more in this phase of the pandemic compared to the last one and several factors, including weather and pollution, are contributing to it, a health ministry official said on Wednesday.
Amid a spurt in the infection tally in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had Wednesday requested experts to audit COVID-19 death cases and suggest measures to reduce fatalities in the national capital.
Health Minister Satyender Jain on Wednesday claimed the national capital reported the “least fatality per million” population amongst all four metro cities in the country.
The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.