As Unlock 1.0 got underway on Monday even as COVID19 cases continued to surge, Delhi sealed its borders for a week, the exceptions being people providing essential services and those holding government-approved e-passes.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the borders were being shut temporarily to allow hospitals and medical institutions in the city time to get a handle on the increase in coronavirus cases. “The moment we open the borders, people from across the country will come to Delhi for treatment. Delhi hospitals should be reserved for the people of Delhi,” Mr Kejriwal said in his brief address to the city, adding, “At the same time, Delhi belongs to the country, how can it refuse to treat anyone?”
Delhi on Sunday recorded the highest single-day jump with more than 1,200 fresh novel coronavirus cases in last 24 hours pushing the total number of virus cases towards 20,000.
The previous single-day highest spike of 1,163 fresh cases was recorded on 30th May.
With 1,295 more patients testing positive in the national capital since Saturday, Delhi’s COVID-19 count rose to 19,844, according to the government.
Along with that, the death toll also increased to 473 after 13 more fatalities were reported since Saturday, it said.
According to the Chief Minister, Delhi has 9,500 beds for COVID-19 patients, up from 4,500 and then 6,600 as the city-state scales up health and hospital infrastructure to contain and quell the virus outbreak.
“I can guarantee, as your Chief Minister, there will be a bed if you or someone in your family is infected,” Mr Kejriwal said.
The order to shut borders comes hours after Haryana opened Delhi-Gurgaon borders in line with revised lockdown guidelines issued by the centre on Saturday, which stated that non-essential inter-state movement of vehicles and people would now be allowed.
Uttar Pradesh’s Noida, which also shares a border with Delhi, had sealed all routes in April in an attempt to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading. On Sunday the Noida district administration confirmed the border would remain closed till further notice.
-India Legal Bureau