Coronavirus cases in Delhi nears 3,500; 125 fresh cases, two deaths in a day

New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) Delhi on Wednesday reported 125 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the city's tally to 3,439, with two fatalities being reported in a day, authorities said.

According to a bulletin by the Delhi's Health Department, the death toll due to coronavirus in the city reached 56. However, the last three days saw no deaths due to COVID-19 in the national capital.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi rose to 3,500, of which 2, 291 are active cases, the bulletin said.

Fourteen people were discharged from hospitals on Wednesday after being cured.

Among the fresh cases include a first-year postgraduate student of the North MCD-run Kasturba Hospital.

Ninety people at a Sikkim government guest house in south Delhi's Green Park have also been quarantined after a patient staying there was found positive, officials said.

The guest house serves as a facility for patients from Sikkim referred to Delhi for medical treatment.

Talking to reporters, Health minister Satyendar Jain said there have been no new COVID-19 cases in 90 per cent of the containment zones. There are 100 containment zones in Delhi.    Jain said earlier the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases was four or five days but the current doubling rate is 13 days in Delhi, which is more than the national average.

Following the Ministry of Home Affairs order allowing migrant workers, tourists, students and other people stranded in different parts of the country to move to their respective destinations with certain conditions, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government is in touch with other states and they would come out with a proper plan in the next one-two days.

Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal asked migrant workers to stay indoors and follow the lockdown till the time the plan is executed.

In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said buses shall be used for transport of such groups of stranded people and these vehicles will be sanitised and will have to follow safe social distancing norms in seating.

In Delhi, there are currently thousands of migrant workers staying at government-run shelters following the lockdown imposed to curb coronavirus.

'The Union Home Ministry has issued an order concerning migrant workers today. We are in talks with other state governments on this issue.

'We will inform you (migrant workers) in the next one or two days once planning is executed and till then, stay home and follow the lockdown,' Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

Meanwhile, a Delhi government panel said the supply of several items like coffee, diapers, oil and cereals, which are dependent on imports, is expected to face shortage in the national capital if the lockdown continues beyond May 3.

The panel said items of particular brands such as shampoos, moisturisers, biscuits, sanitisers and cigarettes are in short supply in the city markets.

Some of the products of reputed companies may not be available on the shelves, resulting in an increase in the sale of small and homemade brands, it said.

Earlier this month, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev had constituted an empowered group on facilitating supply chain and logistics management for availability of necessary items, including food and medicine, in Delhi in the wake of the lockdown.

The high-empowered panel, headed by Food and Civil Supplies Commissioner Ankita Mishra Bundela, said all essential medicines are reported to be available.

She said there is no report about scarcity of essential medicines, but factories are told to be operating at less than 50 per cent of their capacity.

On the other hand, the sealing of border by Haryana has not only led to spike in the prices of vegetables but also left many people stranded on the borders.

The vegetable supply in Azadpur Mandi was severely affected as traders could not get fresh arrivals due to the sealing of the Haryana border.  Adil Ahmad Khan, chairman of Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee, said there was no supply of vegetables from neighbouring Sonipat.

Chaos prevailed at the Delhi-Faridabad border in the evening as the entry-exit points of the satellite city were sealed, leaving several people stranded in the national capital as they waited to cross the border and go home.

Those among the stranded at Badarpur in southeast Delhi included civic body staffers, ones with valid movement permissions, while a few with medical emergencies.

With no accommodation available, many faced the difficult question of where to spent the night.  In view of the sealing of Delhi's border with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said its employees belonging to the two states can stay in lodging facilities in the national capital.

The civic body said it will reimburse the cost of lodging and boarding for such employees.

Group A and Group B employees will receive a reimbursement of Rs 2,000 per day, while those in Group C and Group D will get Rs 1,100 per day, the SDMC said in an order. PTI BUN SLB VIT NIT GVS PR KJ