New Delhi: At a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on July 9, Niti Aayog member of health V K Paul has told the Delhi government to remain watchful as the next three months are important and unlocking activities can lead to an increase in coronavirus cases. “Unlock activity could lead to an increase in cases, though at present the positivity rate of cases is at its lowest point”, Dr Paul said, according to the minutes of the meeting made public on July 20. “The next three months are important; we need to be watchful,” the Niti Aayog member said. He also suggested that the Delhi government consult the Centre before imposing any travel restrictions in the capital, reported news agency PTI.Also Read - Niti Aayog Launches 'Shoonya' Program to Promote Zero-Pollution Delivery Vehicles

Chief Secretary Vijay Dev flagged the presence of the Delta Plus — a coronavirus variant of concern — in 12 states and referred to the high case positivity rate in northeast India. He recalled that Delhi had earlier imposed some restrictive measures such as carrying negative RT-PCR reports for people coming from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra to which Paul suggested that the “advice of the Government of India should be taken before imposing any restrictions on the movement of inter-state travel with Delhi being the capital of the country”. Also Read - Delhi Unlock Guidelines: Marriage Parties Allowed With 100 People | What’s Allowed, What’s Not

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who chaired the DDMA meeting, suggested that rather than asking for negative RT-PCR test reports, vaccination certificates should be the criteria, as it will also promote inoculation against the virus. The DDMA devises COVID-19 management policies for the national capital. Also Read - How Long Will Indians Need to Wear Masks? NITI Aayog Member Answers

Delhi battled a brutal second wave of the pandemic that claimed a massive number of lives, with the shortage of oxygen at hospitals across the city adding to the woes. On April 20, Delhi had reported 28,395 cases, the highest in the city since the beginning of the pandemic. On April 22 the case positivity rate was 36.2 per cent, the highest so far. The highest number of 448 deaths was reported on May 3.

(Based on PTI inputs)