Amid Covid-19 Surge, Delhi Closes Schools, Pushes For Strict Implementation of Rules in Public Areas

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Schools in the national capital will remain closed for all classes till further orders due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday. The national capital has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. On Thursday, the daily case count breached the 7,000-mark for the first time this year. “Due to rising cases of COVID-19, schools in Delhi will remain closed for all classes till further orders,” Kejriwal tweeted. The Delhi government had last week announced that students of any classes will not be called to school in the new academic session.

However, class 10 and class 12 students who are due to appear in board exams in May-June were going to school with consent of their parents. Delhi had recorded 7,437 COVID-19 cases Thursday, the highest single-day surge this year, while24 more people had died due to the coronavirus infection, taking the death toll to 11,157.

<h4>DDMA pushes for stricter enforcement of curbs</h4>

Meanwhile, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has emphasised on strict enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour at market places, public transport and offices in view of surging coronavirus cases in the national capital. The meeting chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal was attended by Kejriwal, deputy CM Manish Sisodia, ministers Satyendar Jain, K G Gahlot and top officials.

“After detailed deliberations with experts, in view of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Delhi, strict enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour was emphasised, particularly in market places, public transport, workplaces etc, especially in wake of the upcoming festivals,” Baijal said in a tweet.

Officials were advised to further strengthen the implementation of testing, tracing and treatment strategies with focus on micro-containment zones and geographical areas with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases, he said in another tweet. The L-G advised the health department to scale up vaccination efforts so as to enhance coverage and also to undertake an appropriate awareness campaign to sensitise people towards vaccination and critical need for strictly adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour.

The hospitals were asked to ensure enhanced capacity and dedicated resources for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The district officials were directed to ensure optimum utilisation of existing COVID care centres, the L-G said. He also called for “collective, concerted and coordinated” efforts by all stakeholders to successfully overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases are rising in the city at an alarming pace with over 7,400 fresh infections and 24 deaths reported on Thursday.

<h4>Rising Infections in frontline staff</h4>

Kejriwal also met the head of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the wake of 37 of its doctors testing positive. Kejriwal met Dr D S Rana, the chairman of the board of management of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, at his residence and enquired about the health of the infected doctors.

Rajendra Nagar MLA Raghav Chaddha was also present at the meeting. “While serving covid patients at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, 37 doctors have tested positive for COVID-19. A majority of these corona warriors have mild symptoms. Thirty-two doctors are in home isolation and the rest are admitted in the hospital,” a hospital source had said on Thursday.

Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has been among the facilities, which have been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic for nearly a year. In a statement issued by the Delhi government, Kejriwal was quoted as saying, “Our doctors have been at the forefront of fighting coronavirus. I pray for the swift recovery of all the doctors who have tested positive. The hospital can reach out to the Delhi government at any point, if and when required, and we will provide them with all the help possible.” During the meeting, the chief minister was apprised that most of the 37 doctors who have tested positive are asymptomatic and have been recommended home isolation.

The five who have exhibited serious symptoms have been admitted to the hospital and are being taken care of, the statement said. Kejriwal also expressed serious concern over the spike in coronavirus cases in the national capital in the last few days.

Delhi recorded 7,437 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest single-day surge this year, while24 more people succumbed to the infection, taking the death toll to 11,157, according to the city health department.

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