New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said there should not be “VIP or non-VIP categories” for vaccinating people against COVID-19 as everyone’s life is important and priority should instead be given to “corona warriors”, vulnerable groups such as senior citizens, and those having comorbidities.
The chief minister said that it was likely that the distribution plan of the vaccination will be prepared by the central government, but he would prefer “priority-based” vaccination which is “technical rather than political in nature”.
“The whole world is eagerly waiting for a vaccine, the Delhi government is too. Perhaps, the distribution plan will be made by the central government. If they ask for our suggestion… there should not be VIP or non-VIP categories when it comes to giving vaccination to people. Everyone is equal and everyone’s life is important,” Kejriwal said at The Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), 2020.
He said, “We should do one thing. First priority should be given to corona warriors as they are working hard during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Second priority should be given to those who are vulnerable groups like senior citizens and then those who have comorbidities. If we make such categories, it will be technical in nature rather than political In nature. I would prefer this.”
The national capital has witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases since October 28, when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time, and it crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11.
On Wednesday, the infection tally in Delhi rose to over 5 lakh with 7,486 fresh cases being reported, while 131 new fatalities — the highest single-day death count till date — took the toll to 7,943.
During the summit, Kejriwal said despite the “severe third wave” of coronavirus in Delhi, the situation has not gone out of control as the city government has aggressively been following testing, tracing, isolation and other things under the ‘Delhi Model’.
He said out of 43,000 active COVID-19 cases in the city, there are 25,000 patients under home isolation.
“Had we admitted all these 25,000 patients to hospitals, we would not have enough beds in hospitals. The Delhi government is providing tele-counselling and other care to such patients,” he said.
As many as 7,546 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, taking the infection tally to over 5.1 lakh while 98 more fatalities pushed the toll to 8,041.
On Thursday, the AAP government announced sweeping measures to control the situation including a steep Rs 2,000 fine for not wearing a mask, reservation of 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals, doubling testing centres in every district and postponement of non-critical surgeries at health facilities.
The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said Delhi accounted for 22.39 per cent of the fatalities reported across the country in a span of 24 hours by recording 131 deaths on Wednesday.