Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal constituted a special task force to monitor the pandemic in Delhi.
Long haul: CM Kejriwal at the Delhi secretariat
Delhi reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 2. Two days later, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal constituted a special task force to monitor the pandemic in Delhi. Even so, a month later, on April 7, with 576 confirmed cases, Delhi now has the third-highest number of cases in the country. While the city remains in lockdown, Kejriwal has been holding regular press briefings and video conferences to ensure transparency in all matters related to the pandemic.
In one such online interaction on April 7, the chief minister announced the ‘5-T’ strategy to combat the pandemic. It will comprise efforts towards stringent testing, tracing, treatment, team work, and tracking and monitoring. “We will do mass tests for coronavirus like South Korea did,” Kejriwal said. One of the hurdles the Delhi government faces is a paucity of testing kits, an issue the chief minister acknowledged before announcing that he would get 100,000 testing kits by April 10. Another challenge could be in terms of available healthcare facilities.
In the first days of the lockdown, the Kejriwal government faced criticism over its handling of migrant workers who started leaving the capital on foot. Several thousands poured out on to the roads in the last week of March. The government, however, later successfully relocated the remaining workers at government schools. The Delhi government also acted swiftly in evacuating Tablighi Jamaat members from the Nizamuddin markaz. Over 330 of the positive cases in the capital are linked to the markaz. By April 7, Delhi had seven hotspots where active containment strategies have been adopted.