Mulling Restrictions to Arrest Covid Rise in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal Likely to Meet Amit Shah Next Week

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The Delhi government is mulling re-imposing certain restrictions in the national capital amid the spiralling coronavirus count, sources told CNN-News18 on Saturday. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to meet Union home minister Amit Shah next week to discuss the steps that need to be taken and to follow up on the request for additional beds in the city's central government-run hospitals.

Apart from more beds, Kejriwal may ask for further assistance, including ensuring cooperation from other states in controlling pollution which is leading to rise in coronavirus cases during the festive season.

Kejriwal had on Friday said the AAP government was considering initiating several steps next week to arrest the spread of the viral disease in the city.

Earlier this week, he had requested Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to augment the bed capacity in the central government-run hospitals in Delhi, in view of revised projections of up to 15,000 COVID-19 cases per day in the coming weeks.

In a letter to Vardhan last week, Kejriwal had cited a shortfall of around 4,900 beds in hospitals and sought his direction to the hospitals run by the central government in Delhi to provide at least 1,092 additional beds, including 300 ICU beds, with the required medical staff.

Kejriwal on Friday said the COVID-19 situation in the national capital should come under control in seven to 10 days. Terming pollution as the "biggest reason" behind the spike in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, the chief minister said the situation was under control in the city till October 20.

"COVID-19 cases have been increasing for the last few days. I am also concerned about it. We have been taking all appropriate measures to control it. We are considering taking more steps next week. I think the situation should come under control in seven to 10 days and the cases should start decreasing," he had said.

Delhi recorded 7,802 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 4.74 lakh on Friday, while 91 more fatalities during the same period pushed the death toll to 7,423.