Delhi is conducting the highest number of COVID-19 tests in the whole world, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said during the one-day session of the Assembly on Monday. Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Kejriwal said the matter of concern should be the number of deaths and not cases as he claimed that the coronavirus death rate in the national capital is perhaps the lowest in the world.
He said that currently around 60,000 tests for detection of COVID-19 are being conducted in Delhi daily, which means that 3,000 tests are conducted per day per million population in the city.
"In Delhi, 3,057 COVID-19 tests are conducted per day per million population. In the UK, around 3,000 tests are conducted per million population, 1,388 in the USA, 2,311 in Russia, and 8,58 in Peru. In India, the figure is 819 tests per day per million. So, Delhi is conducting the highest number of tests in the whole world," the chief minister said.
"The largest number of COVID-19 tests are being carried out in Delhi. Eleven per cent Delhi has been tested so far with nearly 21 lakh tests. The concern should be the number of deaths and not the number of COVID cases. The death rate in Delhi is perhaps the lowest in the whole world," he said.
The chief minister said the COVID-19 situation was the toughest in Delhi. "First, we need to understand that the COVID-19 situation of was the toughest in Delhi. We must keep this in mind whenever we compare the situation from other states.
"Coronavirus had a huge impact in countries such as Italy and the UK. Indians living there asked the governments that they wanted to go back to Delhi," he said. The Indian government decided to bring these people back to India by sending special flights, the chief minister said.
"Delhi is the national capital of India and so 80-90 per cent of all flights landed in Delhi. COVID-19 was a new disease then, and nobody knew about any protocol or guidelines to be followed, no quarantine, and no isolation," Kejriwal said. Kejriwal said the pandemic made him realise that nobody can handle it alone.
"If Delhi would have tried to handle it alone, we would not have been able to do it. We took help from everyone. I want to thank the Centre for helping us whenever we needed them. They gave us PPE kits, oxygen cylinders and testing kits. No government can handle it alone.
"We have a weakness. We do not know how to do politics, but this weakness has become our biggest strength right now. I always say, the credit is yours and all the responsibility is mine. Whenever Delhi faces trouble, the responsibility is mine," he added. Kejriwal said people from all over the country are coming to Delhi for COVID-19 treatment.
"A total of 5,264 people from other states have been treated so far in Delhi. It is a difficult time. Human history never witnessed such a pandemic. We have to work for the wellbeing of the humankind," he added. During the assembly session, AAP MLAs, including Saurabh Bhardwaj, hit out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, alleging that there was a "scam" in the procurement of COVID-19 kits and equipment.
"There is a Delhi model which follows more tests, plasma therapy and home isolation and there is a model of the BJP government in UP that is about corruption and profiteering," charged AAP MLA Raghav Chadha. BJP MLA Vijender Gupta claimed that COVID-19 cases were rising in Delhi and the AAP government has failed to protect people from the disease.
(With inputs from PTI)