Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday extended the lockdown in the national Capital till 5 am on May 3. The lockdown was earlier scheduled to end on Monday.
“The coronavirus still continues to wreak havoc in the city,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “The public opinion is that lockdown should increase.”
The chief minister said that the daily positivity rate had climbed to 36%-37% in Delhi. “In the last two-three days, it [daily positivity rate] has dropped,” he said. “It is below 30% today [Sunday].” The daily positivity rate was recorded at 32.27% on Saturday, the day the national Capital registered its highest toll at 357 fatalities.
The rules of the lockdown will remain the same, according to the Hindustan Times. Only essential services will be allowed to function.
Read what is allowed here.
In his address, Kejriwal also pointed to the scarcity of oxygen in the national Capital. “Delhi now needs 700 tonnes and what’s reaching us is 330 to 335 metric tonnes only.”
The chief minister said that while the Delhi government failed to deliver oxygen at some places, it succeeded in some facilities.
Kejriwal said that it was now necessary to manage oxygen supplies. For this, he said, the government has started a portal that will record the status of supplies from manufacturers to hospitals every two hours. Manufacturers, suppliers and hospitals would need to keep the government informed regularly, he added.
The chief minister said that the Delhi government and the Centre were working to resolve problems related to the supply of oxygen. “I understand that this situation is likely to improve in the next few days,” he added.
He said that the government was trying to get oxygen from wherever possible. Kejriwal said that he wrote to all chief ministers of the states, requesting supply, on Saturday. “We are in talks with a few states,” he said. “I will inform when there is something concrete.”
Delhi on Saturday registered 24,103 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 10,04,782, since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The active cases mark was also inching closer to the 1-lakh mark with 93,080 infections. As many as 22,695 people recovered on Saturday, taking the tally to 8,97,804.
Oxygen shortage in Delhi
Major hospitals in the Capital have nearly run out of oxygen for days now. The situation is worsening by the day with hospitals taking to social media to plead with the government to replenish their oxygen supplies and threatening to stop admissions of new patients.
At least 20 coronavirus patients in Delhi died on Saturday after Jaipur Golden Hospital ran out of oxygen. A day earlier, 25 “sickest” coronavirus patients died overnight at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi amid a last-minute scramble for oxygen.
Earlier this week, the Centre had announced that the Indian Railways will run special trains to supply oxygen to states and Union Territories, as several of them are facing a shortage. The “Oxygen Express” made its first stoppage in Maharashtra’s Nagpur on Friday evening.
The Centre has also decided to prohibit the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, in order to divert the stock for medical use. But as per an analysis by Scroll.in, India’s daily requirement of medical oxygen is currently more than double the amount that has been exempted from industrial use – 4,600 metric tonnes. And the country may run out of stocks in a few weeks even if all industrial oxygen is diverted to medical use.