Delhi govt will bear cost of raising children who lost parents to Covid, says Kejriwal

The Delhi government will bear the cost of educating and bringing up children who have lost both their parents to Covid-19, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Friday.

Over the past month, children welfare bodies and helplines have come across several cases where children have been left orphaned. In many other cases, the earning member of the family has died.

Addressing a webcast, Kejriwal said, “We have seen very painful days recently. Many families saw more than one death. Many children lost both parents. I want to tell them that I understand their pain and am standing in support. Every child who has lost their parents will be educated. The cost of their education and upbringing will be borne by the government. I ask neighbours and families to take care of them too. There are parents who have lost children, and families who have lost their earning member. We will take care of them. Main hoon na.”

On Friday, around 8,500 cases have been recorded in Delhi, Kejriwal said. This is the first time since April 10 that the case count has dipped below 10,000. Delhi saw over 28,000 cases on April 20.

The positivity rate on Friday also dropped to 12%, the lowest in a month.

“Around 3,000 hospital beds have been vacated in the past few days. But ICU beds are still occupied. This means that the number of patients who are critical is still high. We are also readying 1,200 new ICU beds and they will be operational in a day or two,” he said.

Commending people for following the lockdown rules and helping bring down cases, Kejriwal cautioned against laxity. “If we become careless again and stop following social distancing norms and guidelines, cases can increase again. We are making arrangements for more oxygen beds, are buying oxygen cylinders and are setting up new ICU beds. If cases increase again, we should be prepared,” he said.

Delhi saw the worst Covid outbreak in the entire country in April, with the highest peak in daily cases and deaths among any city in the country.