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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that the city government will bear the cost of education and upbringing of children who lost their parents due to COVID-19. He further stated that the government will also extend financial aid to families who lost earning members.

"I know many children who have lost both their parents. I want to tell them that I am still there. Do not consider yourself an orphan. The government will take care of their studies and upbringing," Kejriwal said.

"I know elderly citizens who have lost their children. They depended on their earnings. I want to tell them that their son (Kejriwal) is alive. The government will help all such families who have lost their earning members," he added.

"They need empathy. It is my request to all the neighbours and the relatives of such families to take care of them. These families are facing great challenges. Give them love. The two-crore people of Delhi, we are a family. In these times of despair, we need to help each other. On the occasion of the festival of Eid, I pray for the health and happiness of all," he said.

Positivity rate dropped in the national capital

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal said that the national capital is witnessing a decline in daily coronavirus cases. He said the number of fresh COVID-19 cases has come down to around 8,500 and the positivity rate has dipped to around 12%.

The chief minister said that the lower positivity rate means that a lesser number of people are falling ill in Delhi. The number of people admitted at hospitals has also reduced, he said.

"In the past 10 days, the number of patients in hospitals of Delhi has reduced by more than 3,000 patients. Which means that 3,000 beds have become empty. Now, there is no problem being faced to get beds in hospitals, yet one thing to be observed is that the ICU (intensive care unit) beds are still full," Kejriwal said.

While stressing that even till now ICU beds in hospitals of Delhi are almost full, he said that 1,200 new ICU beds have been prepared and are now ready to be utilised by Friday or Saturday.

Kejriwal cautioned Delhiites against any laxity

Kejriwal thanked the people of Delhi for following lockdown restrictions. There has been a decline in cases because of the contribution of every person in Delhi, he said.

"We imposed a very strict lockdown in Delhi, but the people of Delhi offered their complete support in the same. Everyone adhered to the lockdown completely," the chief minister said.

"Today everyone is talking about how the people of Delhi managed to reduce the number of coronavirus cases. This has been possible only because of the disciplined behaviour of the people of Delhi. But the battle is not won yet. The battle is yet to finish. Even now 8,500 cases have come up. This has to be reduced to zero. We have to end coronavirus entirely," he said.

Kejriwal cautioned Delhiites against any laxity and said that "if we do not take precautions, the cases will increase again".

"...Therefore by no means, we can let loose. The lockdown has to be adhered to strictly and should employ all the ways to ensure protection from the coronavirus. The Delhi government is also not leaving any scope in its arrangements," he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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