Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the Lieutenant Governor’s orders overruling his government’s decisions on coronavirus would be followed.
“This is not the time for politics. This is not the time for disagreements,” he asserted in his first online statement since he went into self-isolation suspecting a COVID-19 infection.
On Monday, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who represents the Centre, cancelled the Delhi government’s decision to reserve hospitals except those run by the Centre for residents of Delhi. He also reversed a decision to test only those showing symptoms of COVID-19 and said asymptomatic cases and high-risk contacts of a virus patient will also be tested.
“We won 62 seats in the Delhi election. The Centre has decided and this is not the time to differ. Whatever the Centre has decided and the Lt Governor has ordered, that will be implemented. There will be no dispute or debate on this,” Kejriwal said, addressing the media a day after he tested negative for coronavirus.
“If political parties keep fighting, corona will win. The entire country has to be united in its fight. You cannot even imagine the crisis we are in.”
The CM, however, said it would be a huge challenge to provide beds for COVID-19 treatment, given his government’s estimates of the rise in virus cases by July and the corresponding demand for beds.
The Delhi government’s estimates, by June 15 there will be 44,000 cases, one lakh cases by 30 June, 2.25 lakh cases by July 15 and 5.5 lakh by July 31.
“It is a huge and unprecedented challenge. By July 15, Delhi will need 33,000 beds, and including those from outside the city, we will need 65,000. By July 31, we will need a total of 1.5 lakh beds,” he said.
“I will get started on this and go to stadiums, banquet halls and hotels to make arrangements. We will try everything, do whatever we can to ensure enough hospital beds in Delhi.”
While cancelling Kejriwal’s decision to reserve hospitals run by the Delhi government and some private hospitals for residents of the capital, the Lieutenant Governor had ordered that everyone should be treated in Delhi without “discrimination” on grounds of being a non-resident.