Delhi’s borders will be sealed in view of rising coronavirus cases in the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced here on Monday.
“For one week, we are sealing the borders of Delhi for everyone except those providing essential services and those with valid passes,” Mr. Kejriwal said at a digital briefing.
The decision to continue with these restrictions, however, would depend on suggestions from citizens, he added.
“Today I am here to ask for your guidance on a very important question: should Delhi’s borders be opened?” he asked.
“Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in the city; but, as I have said earlier, it is a cause for concern, not panic,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The capital’s health infrastructure, he said, was adequate to deal with the pandemic as far as its citizens were concerned. But, the same system could not be expected to cope with COVID-19 cases from beyond its borders.
“There has been a significant improvement in the health infrastructure in Delhi over the last five years… Treatment is free in Delhi hospitals. The capital has always seen citizens from across the country coming to Delhi for better healthcare facilities,” he said.
“But now if we open the borders, then people from all over the country will come here for treatment of coronavirus like they usually do and that will affect our capacity,” he said.
One way of dealing with the possible strain on Delhi’s health infrastructure in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic was restricting the use of hospitals only to the citizens of Delhi. Suggestions will be sought by the Delhi government on the issue of whether or not to open its borders till Friday after which the Delhi government will decide the way forward on whether to continue with the decision to seal them, Mr. Kejriwal said.
The suggestions, he said, can be sent to 8800007722 via WhatsApp or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.