The Asian Age

New peak: Delhi records 17,282 Covid cases

■ 104 fatalities push death toll to 11,540 ■ Kejriwal to discuss situation with L-G today

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New Delhi, April 14: Delhi on Wednesday recorded the biggest single-day jump in its Covid-19 tally with 17,282 new cases, while over 100 people died, prompting chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to call a meeting with Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday during which measures to curb the virus spread are expected to be discussed.

Health minister Satyendar Jain said that Covid-19 cases are rising very rapidly in the national capital and “there is no slowdown”.

The minister, however, reiterated that lockdown was not a solution to the situation, and advised people to step out only if urgent, avoid gatherings, wear masks and follow Covid-19-appropriat­e behaviour. The case positivity rate also jumped to 15.92 per cent, the highest till date.

Sources said that in the planned meeting Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Baijal and Chief Minister Kejriwal are expected to discuss staggered opening of shops and weekly markets, and restricted number of passengers in public transport among other measures.

Also, the timing of night curfew will be discussed. Last week, the AAP government had imposed night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am till April 30.

Earlier this week, Kejriwal had said that lockdown is no solution to slow the spread of coronaviru­s cases, and that it would be imposed in Delhi only if the “hospital system collapses”.

According to the latest health bulletin, 104 new fatalities were recorded on Wednesday pushing the death toll to 11,540. These record new positive cases came out of record 1.08 lakh tests conducted the previous day.

The highest single-day spike in Delhi till the third wave of the pandemic — 8,593 cases — was reported on November 11 in 2020, while on November 18, the city had recorded 131 Covid-19 deaths, the highest single-day fatality count till date.

According to official figure on confirmed and suspected cases, the virus has killed 513 people in Delhi in the first 14 days of April, while it had claimed 117 lives in the entire month of March and 57 in February.

This substantia­l rise in the fatality rate has led to a rush of bodies at the city’s crematoriu­ms and burial grounds.

Mashqoor Rashid, a member of the management committee of the graveyard at ITO, said the bodies of Covid-19 patients were being sent there from across the city as local cemeteries are getting overwhelme­d.

However, Amantullah Khan, the chairman of Delhi Waqf Board which runs several graveyards in the city, said there was no scarcity of land for burials so far. “We have enough land for burials.”

North Delhi mayor Jai Prakash said he has written a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking his help for arranging land for burials.

 ?? — PTI ?? Passengers wait to be tested for Covid-19 at Anand Vihar bus terminal in New Delhi on Wednesday.
— PTI Passengers wait to be tested for Covid-19 at Anand Vihar bus terminal in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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