Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has assured the people that no case of the Covid variant that is driving the China surge, has been detected in Delhi. But mandatory mask usage is a call that can only be taken by the Centre, he said.
There has been concern about mandatory mask usage after the variant playing havoc in China was found have been detected in India. Four cases have been found so far in Gujarat and Odisha in July, September and November.
To a question by NDTV on whether there is any plan for making mask mandatory, Mr Kejriwal said, “We are waiting for instructions from the central government”.
This, he said, is because “at present, the maximum knowledge and expertise is with the central government. How much we need to prepare and what to do, as soon as the central government gives orders, we will follow those orders”.
The Centre has not made masks mandatory so far, maintaining there is no cause for panic.
Delhi, which has the country’s largest airport and sees the maximum number of footfalls a day, is susceptible to an outbreak. In 2021, the second wave of Covid had brought the healthcare system on verge of collapse.
Mr Kejriwal said the city is battle-ready if an outbreak does happen. He recounted the availability of hospital beds, medication, oxygen and ambulances which had loomed large during the surge of the Delta variant last year.
The state government, he said, is conducting the genome test of 2,500 samples every day and is also testing sewage from 7 spots in the national capital.