By Lipakshi Seedhar:
New Delhi, April 9, 2020: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that 21 containment zones have been identified in Delhi, and operation SHIELD, which includes sealing, identifying and quarantining people in these containment zones will be implemented. Doorstep delivery of essential supplies and door-to-door checking of people in these areas will also be done by the Delhi government. He also said that the Delhi government will take strict action against people mistreating and misbehaving with healthcare professionals, after an incident came into light where two female doctors of Safdarjung Hospital were mistreated by a local in Gautam Nagar area of Delhi.
Addressing a video-conference, CM said, “Two female doctors from Safdarjung Hospital were mistreated yesterday by the locals near their residence, out of a belief that they are endangering others and spreading Corona in their area. Instances like these will not be tolerated. These doctors and nurses are saving our lives, they are treating our people for Corona. They are endangering themselves while treating Corona patients. And on the other hand, instead of being lauded for their efforts, they are being mistreated by the people for doing this.”
Arvind Kejriwal said that in a meeting held today with Hon’ble LG Anil Baijal along with other senior and police officials, instances like these were taken into account and it was decided that any person engaged in such activities will be given the strictest punishment possible. “I am glad that the person who was involved in the incident has been arrested by the police,” said Kejriwal.
Certain orders on behalf of the Delhi government were issued yesterday, under which it is necessary for every person stepping outside his home to wear a mask. “This has been advised based on recent observations and news from across the world where authorities are advising everyone, and not just people infected from Corona, to wear masks to protect themselves. Based on the experiences of other countries, we have issued orders that everyone stepping out of their homes in Delhi should wear masks. If you do not have a mask, you can use a clean cloth or a handkerchief to cover your nose and mouth so that you are not infected. I understand that this lockdown is a difficult time for all. But this lockdown is necessary for our own good. There have been 2000 deaths reported in the USA in the last 24 hours, we do not want to let that happen in India,” he added.
Arvind Kejriwal said, “Because of no economic activities taking place due to the lockdown, the tax collection of the government has stopped. In view of this, we have decided that except the Corona expenses and other related provisions such as free ration and food, no other expenses will be incurred on behalf of the government. We have issued orders regarding this, and we will have to do this further on a larger scale. All government departments in Delhi have been instructed to stop all expenses other than salaries. Any expenditure other than corona and lockdown expenses will be incurred only with the permission of the Finance Department. Given the current revenue situation, the government will have to drastically cut its expenditure. We need cooperation and support from the people.”
Arvind Kejriwal thanked people working on the ground to provide support like food and ration to the needy. “We are providing free ration to 71 lakh beneficiaries who have ration cards, and also to those people who do not have ration cards. Since this system was developed swiftly, some glitches need to be fixed. I am hearing that it is causing some incovenience to peole working on the ground, like the principals and teachers working in the schools where the ration is being distributed. I want to thank all these people who are working with us. I want to assure you that the system will be fixed soon.”
Containment has begun in 21 areas in Delhi, which have been sealed to protect people living their from COVID-19. Arvind Kejriwal said, “We have begun Operation SHIELD in those areas, wherein SHIELD means S – Sealing of the immediate area/surroundings after geographical marking, H – Home quarantine of all the people living in the area, I – Isolation and Tracing of people who have been first and second contacts, E – Essential Supplies which involves doorstep delivery of essential items to the people in those areas, L – Local sanitization and disinfection of those areas, and D – Door-to-door checking of those areas, so that people having symptoms of Corona are isolated, and testing can be done after taking samples. Whatever areas have Corona patients, Operation SHIELD has been put to force in those areas. We hope that you will support us in all these steps that we are taking to ensure that there is no spread of Corona in Delhi.”
Arvind Kejriwal reiterated his appeal to the people to stay inside, wear masks, practice social distancing, to protect themselves from COVID-19.