New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday to discuss issues related to increasing coronavirus cases as well as rising pollution levels in the national capital.
In the meeting, Kejriwal is likely to push his government’s earlier request to Shah for providing additional beds in Central government-run hospitals in the backdrop of the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, sources in the Delhi government told IANS on condition of anonymity.
The Delhi Chief Minister may also seek further assistance from the Central government apart from beds, including cooperation by other states in controlling pollution which is increasing during the festival season.
Kejriwal is likely to meet the Home Minister in the first half at the latter’s official residence here.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor had earlier sought Shah’s intervention in handling the alarming Covid-19 situation in the national capital and sought additional beds in the Centrally run hospitals in the city.
The steps already taken by the Delhi government to control the pandemic are also likely to be discussed in the meeting.
The meeting comes at a time when the national capital is witnessing more than 7,000 cases on a daily basis for the past few days.
On Friday, Delhi had reported 7,802 new Covid cases out of the 56,553 samples that were tested.
A total of 4,74,830 people have so far been infected by the virus in the national capital, of which 7,423 have succumbed to the dreaded disease. On a positive note, 4,23,078 people have recovered and the city presently has 44,300 active cases.
Pollution has also been a major concern in the national capital with thick blanket of noxious smog enveloping most parts of the city. The Air Quality Index (AQI) has reached the upper end of the ‘very poor’ category, with the officials of the Ministry of Earth Sciences warning that it might turn ‘severe’ by Saturday night.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Earth Sciences had claimed that the level of PM2.5, a deadly pollutant, is likely to be lowest in the past four years under zero-firecracker scenarios during Diwali.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality index stood at 378 micrograms per cubic metre at noon.
According to the Ministry’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, overall air quality has deteriorated and in the higher end of the ‘very poor’ category. The forecast is that it may deteriorate further and reach the ‘severe’ by Saturday night.