DSCI contractual employees will get due salaries, issue caused by software glitch: Jain

New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Salaries of many contractual employees of the Delhi State Cancer Institute got deducted while they were in quarantine due to a 'software glitch', but the issue has been sorted, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.

He said this in response to a question during a press interaction and assured that 'all such employees will get their due salaries'.

'I have come to know about the issue and there was some software glitch. The due salaries of all those contractual staff will be paid,' Jain said.

The Delhi health minister reiterated that in the times to come, one will have to 'learn to live with the coronavirus'.

'There was a time when we all thought that this pandemic will be over by May 1 due to summer. But, now, as seen in the Latin American countries also, the pandemic is increasing. The temperature in these countries runs very high. This shows that we have to learn to live with COVID-19,' he said.

The coronavirus death toll in Delhi has mounted to 123, even as the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the national capital rose to 8,895 on Friday with 425 fresh cases, authorities said.

Delhi recorded 472 new cases on May 14, which is the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases here so far.

But, Jain said, the numbers should be seen in terms of percentage rise, which is 'less'.

'Yesterday, in India, the growth rate of COVID was five per cent, and earlier there was a time when the growth rate was 20 per cent. I believe that the numbers should be seen in terms of the percentage increase,' he said.  Some of the cases are coming from the containment zones and some cases are coming from outside the containment zones, the minister added.

Talking about the Delhi government's stand on resumption of economic activities, he said the government felt there should be a 'balance' between the fight against COVID and economic activities.  'We are fighting against COVID-19 with full effort but now we have to again start the economic activities, therefore, the measures should be followed. When the lockdown was imposed at that time we were not prepared to fight this pandemic, but now we have prepared ourself to fight this pandemic,' he said.

The government had sought suggestions from people on areas in which easing can be done during Lockdown 4.0.

Jain said the main suggestions made were regarding wearing of masks at public places and maintaining social distancing all the time.

Based on the suggestions received, the city government has forwarded its views to the Centre, he added.

'People have also suggested that public transportation should start, for example buses and metros with limited capacity. I want to repeat that in the last two months, we have learnt various lessons from COVID-19. If we wear a mask, maintain social distancing and wash hands regularly, then people will be 90-95 per cent safer,' Jain said.  People have suggested that malls in the city could be re-opened in the limited capacity of either 25 per cent or 50 per cent, he told reporters.  There is also a suggestion that markets should be opened again following either odd-even rules or only three days a week, Jain said.

On the plight of migrants, the minister said the Delhi government was providing food to nearly 10 lakh poor people every day.

'I will say that there are two kinds of situation. One is the migrant labourers of Delhi, and second is the migrant labourer of other states who are passing through Delhi.

'For migrants here, the government has arranged stay and food across Delhi. Any such person you meet can be sent to the nearby shelter of the Delhi government. We are providing lunch and dinner to nearly 10 lakh poor people every day,' he said. PTI SLB KND IJT