The surging number of COVID-19 cases in the city is a matter of concern but there is no need to panic, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a media briefing on Saturday.

The Chief Minister reiterated that Delhi was “fully prepared” to deal with the novel coronavirus threat and his government was “four steps ahead” of the deadly virus.

His statement came on a day when the total number of active cases in the city bre-ached the 10,000 mark and fresh cases saw the biggest single-day spike of 1,163.

“There has been a surge in the number of novel coronavirus cases in Delhi in the last few days. This is a matter of worry but there is no need to panic… I want to assure you that we are making arrangements way more than what is required,” said Mr. Kejriwal. “We cannot engage in a permanent lockdown. We have to learn to live with the virus and we have to arrange for everything required to treat it,” he added.

The two “major causes of worry” in terms of the pandemic, according to the Chief Minister, were the death toll and the adequacy of the city’s health infrastructure.

More hospital beds

He said 6,600 hospital beds are ready in Delhi and another 9,500 would be added by June 5. While 8,500 new cases were reported in the city in the last 15 days, only 500 people were admitted to hospitals. Most of the people were recovering under home isolation, said Mr. Kejriwal.

“Only 2,100 [hospital] beds are occupied and the rest 4,500 remain vacant. We are taking over hotels and oxygen concentrators and beds will be arranged there,” he said.

On May 14, the Chief Minister had said that Delhi had 8,500 cases. There has been a two-fold surge in the number since then with 18,549 cases being reported in Delhi till Saturday. There were 1,600 patients in hospitals on May 14 which has increased to 2,100 on Saturday.

The Delhi government is also developing an app to guide the families of COVID-19 patients on where to take them for treatment. The app, said Mr. Kejriwal, will show the data and status of beds and ventilators available in each and every hospital in Delhi. Those who don’t use smartphones can access this information on a website being developed for the purpose. People can also access the data on 1031 helpline. Mr. Kejriwal also appealed to people not to share malicious and unverified content on social media.

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