Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that his administration had decided to extend the lockdown in the Capital till May 17. The chief minister also announced that the Delhi Metro will stop operations from Monday.
On May 2, the Delhi government had extended the lockdown till May 10. The restrictions were first implemented on April 19.
“After taking inputs, we [the Delhi government] have decided the Covid-19 daily cases may have gone down but it was not time for relaxations yet,” Kejriwal said during an address. “Everyone is of the opinion that the lockdown in the city should be extended. It is important that we keep the strict restrictions in place for a few more days or else the bit of progress achieved will also be lost.”
The chief minister said that the Covid-19 positivity rate was down from 35% to 23% in the last few days. However, according to the latest Delhi government bulletin, the number of tests conducted in the city have also gone down.
During Sunday’s address, Kejriwal reminded residents that the second wave of the pandemic had been more difficult to control and therefore a stricter curb was required. The chief minister said that the Delhi government had used the lockdown to boost the healthcare infrastructure in the Capital, including the addition of oxygen beds in hospitals.
The national Capital’s healthcare infrastructure has been in shambles ever since the second wave of Covid-19 led to an unprecedented rise in daily infections. Multiple hospitals in the city were forced to approach courts to ensure they received supplies of medical oxygen to save lives of Covid-19 patients.
Kejriwal on Sunday said that reports of an acute shortage of oxygen in the city’s hospitals had also decreased.
Meanwhile, Delhi reported 13,336 new coronavirus cases and 273 deaths in a day as of Sunday. The Capital’s case count reached 13,23,567 and the toll stood at 19,344. There are 86,232 patients in the city under treatment.
While the number of new cases has decreased from the previous day, the number of tests conducted have also gone down.
Uttar Pradesh extends restrictions
The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday also extended the partial restrictions, called “corona curfew”, in the state till 7 am on May 17 amid a surge in daily infections, reported the Hindustan Times, citing Additional Chief Secretary Navneet Sehgal.
On April 29, the state government had increased the lockdown timing by 24 hours, extending it to 7 am on Tuesday. On May 3, the restrictions were extended till 7 am on May 6. The Uttar Pradesh government then on May 5 extended the curbs across the state till 7 am on May 10.
Under the existing guidelines in the state, grocery shops and those dealing in daily use essential items such as milk and vegetables may remain open outside containment zones. The restrictions will also not apply to pharmacies and shops selling surgical instruments. For containment zones, only emergency services and doorstep deliveries are permitted.
The government has also said that those searching for medicines and oxygen will not be stopped. It has introduced an e-pass system for the residents concerned.
India on Sunday registered 4,03,738 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,22,96,414 since the pandemic broke out last year. The country’s toll climbed by 4,092 deaths to 2,42,362. India now has over 37 lakh active cases and 1,83,17,404 recoveries.