No possibility of lockdown in Delhi: Satyendar Jain

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday dismissed any possibility of imposing another lockdown in Delhi, saying it was not a solution to check the spread of the coronavirus that is again surging rapidly.

Jain said there was a logic behind the lockdown enforced earlier as nobody knew then how the virus propagates.

'It follows a 14-day cycle -- between a person catching the infection and recovering from it. Experts said the virus will die if a lockdown is imposed for 21 days,' Jain told reporters.

'Authorities kept on extending the lockdown, but the virus did not die. I don't think lockdown is a solution,' he said.

There is 'no possibility' of imposing another lockdown in the city, Jain said.

Jain said action will be taken against those found violating the directions issued for Holi celebrations.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority had on Tuesday ordered that there will be no public celebrations in the national capital during upcoming festivals such Holi and Navaratri.

The government has set up a number of teams to ensure that people adhere to its directions on Holi. District magistrates and police have created district-wise teams. Legal action would be taken against violators, he said.

The minister added that there were enough hospital beds available for coronavirus patients and it could be increased if the need arises.

'Only 20 per cent of the beds are occupied currently,' he said.

Around 90,000 tests are being conducted in Delhi every day, which is five times the national average, the minister said, adding that random testing is being done at railway stations and the airport to check people coming from outside.

The minister said a direct correlation can be seen in the changing weather and the increase in the number of cases. 'However, it cannot be concretely said that this is the sole reason for the surge in cases.' Delhi reported over 1,500 coronavirus cases for the second day on the trot on Friday, while nine more people, highest in around two months, succumbed to the pathogen, the Health Department said.

The 1,534 new infections pushed the tally to 6,54,276, while over 6.36 lakh patients have recovered from the virus. This is the highest number of cases since December 16 when 1,547 people tested positive, according to official data. PTI GVS TDS TDS