Follow Us:

EU envoy to India meets Kejriwal, discusses Covid, pollution

 
New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) European Union Ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto, on Monday met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and took note of the national capital's fight against Covid-19 and its efforts to curb air pollution.

"Delhi government has done solid work in curbing the spread of Covid-19. Sero-surveys suggest that Delhi is largely safe if people take precautions and there's no new strain of the virus. On the vaccination front, 50 per cent of Delhi's eligible population is fully vaccinated and about 90 per cent have taken at least one jab, and the government is working rapidly to vaccinate everyone," Kejriwal told Astuto.

The Chief Minister further said, "Delhi government has done several sero surveys, which help us identify what per cent of our population has developed antibodies against Covid-19. In the latest survey, we got some fantastic results. We have found that 96 per cent of Delhi's population have developed antibodies to fight the existing strains of Covid-19."

"So at a layman level, unless there's a new strain of Coronavirus heading towards us, Delhi appears to be safe. This also means that of this 96 per cent, there would have been quite a few people who would have caught the virus but were not consciously aware of it because of its mild or asymptomatic nature," he added.

While discussing the impact of air pollution, Kejriwal told Astuto, "About 5,000 to 6,000 industrial units of Delhi were made to switch to green fuel in the form of PNG by the Delhi government. Earlier, these industries relied on heavily polluting industrial fuels, so it was our top priority to make them switch over to healthier practices. Beyond this, we also gave a huge push to tree plantation in Delhi.

"We have tied up with IIT-Kanpur to develop a real-time pollution identification mechanism which will help us know what source is causing pollution at what point of time, so that we can take immediate action."

Astuto on his part said that the European Union is facing the same challenges as well with air pollution and understands the difficulties that have come Delhi's way.

--IANS
rdk/arm