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Delhi not considering lockdown, focus on alternative measures to control Covid surge: Gopal Rai

Addressing the media, Gopal Rai said the government is looking at alternative solutions to control the spread of the virus and is not dependent on night curfew alone, which will be imposed between 10 pm to 5 am from Tuesday night.

Delhi government is not considering a lockdown to control the surge in Covid-19 infections, Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday, hours after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved a proposal to impose night curfew in the national capital till April end.

Addressing the media, Rai said the government is looking at alternative solutions to control the spread of the virus and is not dependent on night curfew alone, which will be imposed between 10 pm to 5 am from Tuesday night.

“Delhi government is working on all methodologies and innovative ideas to control coronavirus. In many places in the country, after the nationwide lockdown last year, a night curfew was imposed, which is helpful in protecting people in that time frame. However, the government is not dependent on night curfew alone,” Rai said.

He added that Delhi has appealed to the Centre to open up vaccination for all age groups. “We are making the vaccines, our people are dying and an (age) criteria is set for us while our vaccines are being sent abroad. It is most important that if we have the vaccine, and if we have the capacity to supply them abroad, then they should be given to Indians first,” Rai added.

Replying to a question on imposing a lockdown, Rai said, “The Delhi government is not considering a lockdown right now. We are focusing on alternative measures through which the situation can be controlled.”

Meanwhile, the minister, who also holds the environment charge, said the State government has exceeded the tree plantation target set by the Centre last year by 210%.

He said 32 lakh trees were planted in Delhi in the past one year, against a target of 15.20 lakh.

“This is 210% higher than the target given by the Centre, and its impact is being felt in Delhi’s environment,” Rai said.

Rai said various agencies including the Delhi Development Authority, the Public Works Department, municipal corporations, and the forest department have contributed to plantation of tree saplings.

He also said that Delhi has increased its total green cover to over 4,600 hectares against a target of over 2,300 hectares.

Certain plants and trees — Peepal, Amaltas and Pilkhan — are helpful in controlling air pollution,, Rai said, before adding that the government will now focus on planting more of such varieties.

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