After many deadly diseases, wars, and other road blocks, human civilization has come this far. We moved from one continent to another and made them habitable. Using the resources provided by mother Earth, we built houses and developed transportation systems. It came to the point that scientists were expecting climate change as the biggest threat to our existence, but nature had other plans. We have fought many battles from deadly diseases such as Spanish flu, plague, malaria, Ebola, H1N1 etc. Many lives were lost before we were able to successfully develop vaccines. Now, it is the turn of COVID-19. The virus is turning deadly as some of us don’t have the immunity to fight it. The vaccine is far from development and event if it is developed, its mass production and distribution will be another challenge. At this point, preventing the spread of virus is the best cure.

In order to restrict the virus from mass spreading, many countries have declared a state of emergency and locked down their borders, states, cities, and towns. People are appealed to maintain a social/physical distance and asked to stay home. It is expected that the spread of virus might become uncontrollable as the R0 number (reproductive number) is rather high for this virus. Although the number of infected cases are comparatively less in India, capital city Delhi declared emergency in the second week of March by closing educational institutions, cinema halls, and other places inviting large gatherings. After a recommendation from a 5 member committee of doctors, Delhi government locked down the capital city on Mar 23 (effective from 6 am local time). Followed by the capital lockdown, Indian government declared a state of emergency and locked down the entire country on March 24.

Although India had enough time to prepare themselves for the pandemic, central government did not take it very seriously. India banned international flights from Mar 22, but this step was executed a bit late as COVID-19 had already entered the country’s premises. It was up to state governments to take appropriate actions according to their capacity. Some states such as Delhi and Kerala were quick in this regard. In Delhi, out of the 30 cases identified in the beginning, 27 people traveled to India from abroad and 7 infected people were their relatives. Seeing the danger, Delhi government rushed to put the citizens under quarantine but there were many other points of infection in India. After Delhi announced the state of emergency on Mar 12, the government has taken many steps to accommodate the infected people and compensate them accordingly.

Following are some major steps taken by Delhi AAP government to tackle the pandemic.

Financial Aid Announcements

  1. Doubled the pension of 8.5 lakh beneficiaries. They will be paid Rs 4,000 to 5,000 per month
  2. Free ration with 50% more quantity than normal entitlement to 72 lakh beneficiaries
  3. Lunch and dinner will be served free to each and every person at all Delhi govt night shelter
  4. GST will be waived for those who need to be quarantined and are opting for the paid hotel facility
  5. Each construction worker in Delhi will get Rs 5,000 to support themselves during lock-down
  6. Launched E-pass (helpline number 1031) for people who don’t have govt/private ID and are working in essential item manufacturing, transport, storage and shops

Inspection and Committees

  1. Mar 5: Health minister Satyendar Jain talked to NDTV and informed about the preparations being made to strengthen the health system by Delhi govt to deal with Corona virus. During this time, Delhi govt provided 230 isolated beds in 25 hospitals for COVID-19 infected patients
  2. Mar 16: Chief Minister of Delhi constituted a committee (chaired by Dr Sareen) of 5 doctors to report within 24 hours about necessary steps to be taken for a stage 3 epidemic
  3. Mar 20: Delhi CM met MSs of all Delhi govt hospitals regarding the preparation and operation of hospitals in case of COVID-19 widespread in future. For such a situation, all machines should be working, and ventilators, medicines, consumables, and manpower should be available

Sanitation and Disinfection

  1. Mar 16: Directed all DMs, SDMs, and municipal commissioners to set up portable washbasins with automatic soap dispensers in public spaces that have not yet been shut down
  2. Mar 16: Started free disinfection at bus depots for all pvt taxis, auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, and grameen sewas to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 in Delhi
  3. Mar 16: Daily disinfection of bus terminals, Delhi buses, and interstate buses arriving at the terminals

Quarantine Facilities

  1. Mar 16: Many people coming from abroad who are being quarantined require high-end facilities. Delhi govt asked 3 hotels near the airport to set aside 182 rooms at fixed rates to use them as home quarantine facility for foreign travelers
  2. Delhi government prepared quarantine facilities at various locations in Delhi:
    1. Police Training School in Jharoda Kaka and Wazirabad (Capacity 1,400 people)
    2. Delhi Development Authority flats in Narela (Capacity 4,000 people)
    3. Under-construction hospital in Burari
    4. Empty flats available with the Delhi Urban Shelter Board
    5. More than 500 beds in 19 government hospitals across Delhi


  1. Mar 12: Closed all educational institutions (schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, universities, private coaching/tuition centers), cinema halls, and public swimming locations until Mar 31 (further notice may follow)
  2. Mar 13: Banned sports gatherings (including IPL), big seminars, and conferences
  3. Mar 16: Closed gymnasium, spa, night clubs, and theaters until Mar 31 (further notice may follow)
  4. Mar 16: Banned all gatherings (social/cultural/political/religious/academic/sports/seminars). Marriages are restricted to maximum 50 people until Mar 31 (further notice may follow)
  5. Mar 16: Closed all malls except grocery, pharmacy, and vegetable shops until Mar 31 (further notice may follow)
  6. Mar 23: Locked down Delhi (starting from 6 am) until Mar 31 with the exception to ensure essential items are available for purchase and basic services are operating. Only DTC buses will be operational at 25% capacity (further notice may follow)
  7. Mar 24: Central government announced a country wide lock-down

Social Appeals

  1. Appealed to the home owners of doctors not to discriminate and harass them for serving COVID-19 patients
  2. Appealed to the home owners to waive monthly rent (or accept it later in installments) during the lockdown period. The appeal came in support of daily wagers who are out of work due to health crisis and lockdown
  3. Appealed to the citizens to stay united and not discriminate people from certain states on the basis of their appearance and ethnicity
  4. Appealed to the employers to provide paid leave (including people working as domestic help) during the lockdown period