With cases mount­ing in Delhi, Ke­jri­wal says ev­ery­one has to work to­gether as corona fight is too big for any sin­gle govt to han­dle ‘NO NO CREDIT, NO POL­I­TICS, WE WANTTO SAVE LIVES’

Mail Today - - Front Page - Arvind Ke­jri­wal, Delhi CM By Ankit Tyagi in New Delhi

CHIEF Min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal said ev­ery­one con­trib­uted in tack­ling the sharp spike in coro­n­avirus cases in the Cap­i­tal, and that his gov­ern­ment’s only goal is to save lives.

“I will give my heart and soul to save lives, need no credit. I don’t want to politi­cise the is­sue,” the AAP chief told In­dia To­day TV in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view on Mon­day.

The Delhi CM said Covid-19 is still a mys­te­ri­ous dis­ease and it can only be de­feated if ev­ery­one works to­gether. He said Delhi has been do­ing ex­actly that and fig­ur­ing out ways to save as many lives as pos­si­ble.

“The fight against the coro­n­avirus is too big for a sin­gle gov­ern­ment to han­dle, ev­ery­one has to work to­gether,” CM Ke­jri­wal said.

“We will make more ar­range­ments. If there is a big spike in days to come and our ar­range­ments fail, then we will do more,” he added.

The CM said that the sit­u­a­tion in Delhi is rapidly im­prov­ing and

I will give my heart and soul to

save lives, need no credit. I will

even touch any­one’s feet if it

helps save a life. We don’t

want pol­i­tics, we want to save

lives. The fight is too big,

ev­ery­one has to work to­gether.

The es­ti­ma­tion that Delhi will

have 5.5 lakh cases by July 31

was based on a cen­tral

gov­ern­ment for­mula. Now

with adequate treat­ment

fa­cil­i­ties in place, Delhi may

not wit­ness such a sharp rise.

thanked ev­ery­one in­clud­ing the cen­tral gov­ern­ment for help in ramp­ing up health in­fra­struc­ture.

On why cases in­creased so sharply in Delhi in June, Ke­jri­wal said at least 35,000 peo­ple had come to In­dia from out­side be­tween Fe­bru­ary 15 and June 20. When the lock­down was re­laxed, peo­ple started go­ing out, which re­sulted in the rapid spread of in­fec­tions.

‘SIT­U­A­TION BET­TER THAN PRE­DICTED’

More than 5.5 lakh cases were pre­dicted in Delhi by July 31. How­ever, even with the high­est num­ber of cases in In­dia, Ke­jri­wal said it may not be so high and if sta­tus quo is main­tained, Delhi could even see a down­ward trend soon.

He fur­ther as­suaged fears by say­ing that the 5.5 lakh fig­ure was es­ti­mated on the ba­sis of a for­mula shared by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. How­ever, now with adequate treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties in place, Delhi may not wit­ness such a sharp rise.

“The 5.5 lakh case fig­ure was based on cen­tral gov­ern­ment for­mula. It was my re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­form the peo­ple. Now I am happy to say that our ef­forts have paid off. To­day, on June 30, I can con­firm that there are 27,000 ac­tive cases and the sit­u­a­tion is much bet­ter than pre­dias groups, plasma donors and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment — has man­aged to rapidly set up re­quired in­fra­struc­ture to treat and cure more peo­ple.

“Now, peo­ple are not scared like be­fore. Many peo­ple are get­ting treated at home and the bur­den on hos­pi­tals is re­duc­ing. There are enough beds in Delhi hos­pi­tals for se­ri­ous pa­tients,” he said.

High­light­ing one pos­i­tive in Delhi’s fight against the coro­n­avirus, Ke­jri­wal said the fear among peo­ple has re­duced as a ma­jor­ity of the in­fec­tions are mild in na­ture and peo­ple are re­cov­er­ing at home.

While he said that the num­ber of cases in Delhi is re­duc­ing grad­u­ally, the gov­ern­ment is not sit­ting idle but pre­par­ing for sec­ond and third waves to pre­vent deaths.

“Can’t sit idle, we have to keep work­ing. The al­liance is the big­gest strength,” he said.

The CM went on to ex­plain that the gov­ern­ment is work­ing hard to save lives and that he will even “touch any­one’s feet if it helps save some­one’s life”.

“I will have no re­grets,” he added.

Com­ment­ing on the Delhi gov­ern­ment’s plasma donor bank ini­tia­tive, he said the mech­a­nism has been help­ful in treat­ing mild pa­tients. He urged peo­ple who have re­cov­ered from the coro­n­avirus to come for­ward and do­nate to save lives.

“Peo­ple who have re­cov­ered, re­quest them to save lives. Urge you to do­nate plasma, may save some­one's life,” he said.

On Mon­day, the AAP gov­ern­ment an­nounced set­ting up In­dia’s first plasma do­na­tion bank at ILBS Hos­pi­tal in Delhi.

“The plasma bank will start op­er­a­tion in the next two days. I ap­peal to Covid-19 re­cov­ered pa­tients to do­nate their plasma,” Ke­jri­wal said.

CORONA POL­I­TICS

When asked about the re­cent crit­i­cism of the Delhi gov­ern­ment and the shifting blame game over ris­ing cases, Ke­jri­wal said he does not need any credit if the sit­u­a­tion im­proves, but will take re­spon­si­bil­ity for any­thing that goes wrong.

“Peo­ple voted AAP gov­ern­ment in Delhi. If some­thing bad hap­pens, that’s my re­spon­si­bil­ity. Any­thing goes wrong, that’s my re­spon­si­bil­ity,” he said.

“We don’t want pol­i­tics, we want to save lives. Ev­ery­one’s life is im­por­tant,” he said.

Ke­jri­wal re­it­er­ated sev­eral times that he does not want to politi­cise the mat­ter.

His com­ments came when asked about crit­i­cism of his gov­ern­ment in deal­ing with a sharp rise in cases and how the cen­tral gov­ern­ment had to step in to help bring the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol.

Ke­jri­wal be­lieves that “mov­ing for­ward with unity” is the only way to de­feat the coro­n­avirus.

When asked which state gov­ern­ment has been most suc­cess­ful in fight­ing the deadly virus, Ke­jri­wal said he does not want to make such a com­par­i­son.

“All CMs are work­ing well, there should be no com­par­i­son. They are all work­ing hard. There can be no com­par­i­son in this re­gard,” he said.

MES­SAGE FOR DEL­HI­ITES

Ke­jri­wal said there is no easy so­lu­tion to fight the virus and peo­ple should main­tain all pre­cau­tions to not fall sick in the first place.

He, how­ever, said that there is no need to be afraid as adequate mea­sures have been taken to help cit­i­zens.

“Corona is a new virus. There could be more peaks. No one knows about the fu­ture. There is only one so­lu­tion. To fight it with­out politi­cis­ing the is­sue,” he said.

On Un­lock 2.0 plans, Ke­jri­wal said a de­ci­sion will be taken in line with the cen­tral gov­ern­ment or­der, which is ex­pected in a day or two.

ON IN­DIA-CHINA STAND­OFF

Ke­jri­wal said the souls of 20 sol­diers will not rest in peace till In­dia re­claims the ter­ri­tory China has il­le­gally oc­cu­pied on the In­dian side of LAC in Ladakh.

The AAP chief said, “The en­tire coun­try is an­gry and is back­ing the In­dian Army. The en­tire coun­try is sup­port­ing the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. If we can­not reclaim the ter­ri­tory, the souls of the 20 jawans who were mar­tyred (dur­ing the Gal­wan Val­ley clash) will not rest in peace.”

“We need to reclaim the ter­ri­tory by any means.”

The CM went on to say that China had be­trayed in 1962 when In­dia ex­tended hand of friend­ship. He added that the sit­u­a­tion has been the same over the last few years.

“I feel that our strat­egy should now change. Even if we are ex­tend­ing a hand of friend­ship, we should re­main alert. They could be­tray yet again,” Ke­jri­wal said.

While the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has de­nied re­ports of any Chi­nese oc­cu­pa­tion in China, satel­lite im­ages show the pres­ence of Chi­nese sol­diers in In­dian ter­ri­tory.

When asked why he was not called to the all-party meet­ing to dis­cuss the China sit­u­a­tion, Ke­jri­wal said it was the Cen­tre’s wish.

BOY­COTTING CHI­NESE GOODS

Ke­jri­wal said while In­dia is deal­ing firmly with China re­gard­ing the bor­der sit­u­a­tion, more steps could be taken to re­duce de­pen­dence on Chi­nese goods. He, how­ever, added that busi­nesses in the coun­try have to be sup­ported.

“To­day, even a sim­ple Ganesh idol comes from China. Di­wali crack­ers come from China. Why?” he asked.

“In­dia’s traders and busi­ness­men are ca­pa­ble of do­ing that, but they need some form of sup­port,” he added.

He said the gov­ern­ment should make a list of key Chi­nese im­ports to In­dia and ask the coun­try’s busi­ness­men and man­u­fac­tur­ers to make th­ese prod­ucts in In­dia. “They should back the traders,” Ke­jri­wal added.

“We should look at this as an op­por­tu­nity to re­duce de­pen­dence on China and cre­ate job op­por­tu­ni­ties for lakhs and crores of In­di­ans,” he said.

When asked about his views re­gard­ing Congress’s crit­i­cism of the Indo-China sit­u­a­tion, Ke­jri­wal de­nied com­ment­ing but said that any­one should have the right to ask ques­tions in a democ­racy.

At the same time, he said peo­ple should be united in sup­port­ing the na­tional gov­ern­ment dur­ing such a sit­u­a­tion.

Delhi po­lice stand guard at a con­tain­ment zone in New Delhi on Mon­day.

Delhi Chief Min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal

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