Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s assessment on 9 June that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital would rise to over 5.5 lakh by the July-end had created “fear” among people.
The Home Minister further said that there was no community transmission of the disease in the national capital.
In an interview, Amit Shah said various steps had been taken to stem the spread of the virus.
“Around the second week of June, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that by 31 July there will be 5.50 lakh persons infected with the virus. He said that there will be no place left, no beds left and the situation will be difficult. This created a lot of fear in the minds of people in Delhi. His estimate was based on figures. I do not want to go into whether the estimate was right or wrong. But a situation of fear arose and some people started mulling an exodus,” said Amit Shah.
On 9 June, Manish Sisodia, after attending a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, had said: “Till 15 June, there will be 44,000 COVID-19 cases and we would need 6,600 beds. We would hit one lakh cases and would require 15,000 beds by 30 June. There will be around 2.25 lakh cases till 15 July and COVID-19 cases will reach around 5.5 lakh by 31 July.”
Amit Shah disagreed with Sisodia’s assessment. “I can say now with confidence that situation of 5.5 lakh cases will not come on 31 July,” he added.
“…after remarks of Manish ji, I felt that the central government should not stay idle. Modi ji has accountability towards the country. The PM also told me that the Home Ministry should take initiative to move forward and help the Delhi government,” said Shah.
The BJP leader assured: “We will be in good condition because we have laid stress on preventive steps including more tests and contact tracing.”
Speaking on the difference of opinion between the Centre and the Delhi Government as regards ‘community spread’ of coronavirus in Delhi, Amit Shah asserted that Delhi had not reached that state yet.
The home minister said PM Narendra Modi asked the home ministry to help the Delhi government in reviewing the surge in the coronavirus cases. “Soon after, a coordination meeting was called and a number of decisions, including testing of all individuals in containment zones, were taken,” he said.
“I have talked to three senior-most officials – Dr Paul, IMCR chief Dr Bhargava and Dr Guleria. This situation has not come to Delhi. Such situation appeared because of the total tests done, earlier 30 per cent turned out to be positive and that was happening because tests were done at the last moment. Now that we have started doing 20,000 tests on average, this condition is not there. I have held technical discussions on this…today this situation is not there in Delhi. There is no need to fear,” he said.
“On 14 June, there were 9,937 coronavirus beds in Delhi. 30,000 beds will be available by 30 June and 8,000 beds are available in railway coaches; 8000 more being added. DRDO is setting up a dedicated hospital with 250 ICU beds. ITBP to run 10,000 bedded Radha Soami Satsang Beas Covid centre,” Amit Shah said.