New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the Delhi government will extend financial help to families which have lost their earning members to the coronavirus and also bear the cost of education and upbringing of children orphaned by the pandemic.
He said in the past 24 hours, Delhi has recorded around 8,500 cases as against over 28,000 cases on April 20 and that the positivity rate has come down to 12 per cent as against 36 per cent on April 22.
But the fight against the coronavirus has not ended and there is no room for leniency, the chief minister said in an online briefing.
"I know many children who have lost both their parents. I want to tell them that I am still there. Do not consider yourself an orphan. The government will take care of their studies and upbringing," Kejriwal said.
"I know elderly citizens who have lost their children. They depended on their earnings. I want to tell them that their son (Kejriwal) is alive. The government will help all such families who have lost their earning members," the chief minister said.
Kejriwal said that such families can be given financial aid but they need care and affection too.
"They need empathy. It is my request to all the neighbours and the relatives of such families to take care of them. These families are facing great challenges. Give them love. The two-crore people of Delhi, we are a family. In these times of despair, we need to help each other. On the occasion of the festival of Eid, I pray for the health and happiness of all," he said.
The chief minister said that the lower positivity rate means that a lesser number of people are falling ill in Delhi.
The number of people admitted at hospitals has also reduced, he said.
"In the past 10 days, the number of patients in hospitals of Delhi has reduced by more than 3,000 patients. Which means that 3,000 beds have become empty. Now, there is no problem being faced to get beds in hospitals, yet one thing to be observed is that the ICU (intensive care unit) beds are still full," Kejriwal said.
While stressing that even till now ICU beds in hospitals of Delhi are almost full, he said that 1,200 new ICU beds have been prepared and are now ready to be utilised by Friday or Saturday.
Kejriwal thanked the people of Delhi for following lockdown restrictions. There has been a decline in cases because of the contribution of every person in Delhi, he said.
"We imposed a very strict lockdown in Delhi, but the people of Delhi offered their complete support in the same. Everyone adhered to the lockdown completely," the chief minister said.
"Today everyone is talking about how the people of Delhi managed to reduce the number of coronavirus cases. This has been possible only because of the disciplined behaviour of the people of Delhi. But the battle is not won yet. The battle is yet to finish. Even now 8,500 cases have come up. This has to be reduced to zero. We have to end coronavirus entirely," he said.
Kejriwal cautioned Delhiites against any laxity and said that "if we do not take precautions, the cases will increase again".
"...Therefore by no means, we can let loose. The lockdown has to be adhered to strictly and should employ all the ways to ensure protection from the coronavirus. The Delhi government is also not leaving any scope in its arrangements," he added.
The government is preparing more oxygen beds, buying thousands of oxygen cylinders, installing new ICU beds, so that in case the coronavirus cases increase, the national capital is fully prepared, the chief minister said.
Delhi had reported 10,489 new cases and 308 more fatalities on Thursday while the positivity rate stood at 14.24 per cent, according to the health department said.