No more lockdown, restrictions can be imposed in some crowded areas: Jain

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New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said there won't be any fresh lockdown in the national capital as there is 'no need for it', but restrictions could be imposed in some crowded areas to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Interacting with reporters, Jain also asserted that Delhi is conducting testing on a large scale to diagnose the infection and 'the scale will be ramped up further, both RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests'.

'There will be no lockdown in Delhi and there is no need for it. We have learned from the previous lockdown. But restrictions can be imposed at some of the crowded places,' he said, when asked about the speculation that there could be another round of lockdown in Delhi.

On Monday, Jain had said that there was no chance of reimposition of lockdown in the national capital since the third wave of coronavirus has peaked out in the city.

Delhi had recorded 6,396 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the tally in the city to over 4.95 lakh, even as 99 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 7,812.

These fresh cases came out of the 49,031 tests conducted the previous day, while the positivity rate stood at 13.04 per cent amid the festive season and rising pollution in the city, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

The highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases till date here was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded.

Ninety-nine fatalities were reported on Tuesday, pushing the toll in the national capital to 7,812.

On reducing permissible size of guests at a wedding from 200 to 50 in Delhi, he said, the proposal has been sent to the Centre.

On the situation at the LNJP Hospital, Jain said, 'More beds will soon be added, and we have adequate doctors' strength at the hospital.' The Delhi health minister said if anyone suggests the Delhi government is conducting less tests then they are wrong, as 'we are doing the largest number of tests'.

'And, now we will increase it further, both RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests. We are also doing a large number of tests in crowded areas and market places, and these tests would also be scaled up,' Jain said.

On Indian Council of Medical Research's observation on plasma therapy, he said, 'Well, plasma therapy is for moderate and severe cases, not for everyone. And, we have shown a proper model and people have benefitted from it. Some other places may not have done it so, hence an advisory may have been issued.' On the situation of ICU beds, he said, the Centre has assured to add 750 beds and 500 by Tuesday, and, 'we are also going to increase the ICU beds in our various hospitals in the next few days'.

Asked about Noida authorities conducting rapid antigen tests on people travelling from Delhi side, he said, 'It is good, at least they are testing that way.' On an allegation levelled by Congress leader Ajay Maken that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal 'splurged Rs 32 crore on his Diwali advertisements', Jain rejected the charge and said, 'wonder, where do they get such figures'. PTI KND KJ