Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday the ongoing lockdown in the national capital has been extended by another week and will continue to till May 3 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said, “Covid-19 is increasing rapidly in Delhi. In view of this, we had earlier imposed a six-day lockdown which was supposed to end tomorrow at 5am. Lockdown is last the weapon to deal with Covid-19. At present, the situation is not improving. Many people said the lockdown should be extended. Now the lockdown has been extended for one more week till Monday (May 3) 5am.”
The rules of the lockdown will remain the same. Only essential services and government offices will be allowed to function. All those employed with private offices will have to work from home. Malls, spas, gyms and auditoriums will be shut during the lockdown period while groceries, dairies are allowed to be kept open.
Kejriwal pointed out that during last week’s lockdown, the Covid-19 positivity rate climbed to almost 36 to 37 per cent. However, he said the rate went down in the last 1-2 days and today it went down below 30 per cent. “I’m not saying that Covid-19 is ending. We will have to observe for a few more days. The positivity rate might go up or come down.” the Delhi chief minister added.
As top hospitals in Delhi continue to send SOS messages over oxygen shortage, Kejriwal last evening made an appeal to all the chief ministers in a tweet. “I am writing to all CMs requesting them to provide oxygen to Delhi, if they have spare. Though the Central government. is also helping us, the severity of corona is such that all available resources are proving inadequate,” he wrote.
Citing the severe shortage of oxygen supplies in the national capital from the past few days, Kejriwal said a quantity of 700 tonnes (MT) of oxygen is currently needed and the Centre has allotted 490 tonnes till now. “However, the full allotment has not reached Delhi yet. Yesterday, 330-335 tonnes of oxygen managed to reach Delhi. There is a requirement of 700 tonnes and only 330-335 tonnes has arrived till now. This is a major reason for the oxygen shortage in hospitals,” the Delhi CM added.
With a view to ensure better management of oxygen supply, he said the Delhi government has started a portal which will be updated by oxygen manufacturers, suppliers and hospitals.
Delhi has so far added 1,004,782 Covid-19 disease cases and 13,898 deaths, according to the health department’s bulletin. On Saturday, 357 deaths were reported, the highest ever single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic last year while 24,103 more people tested positive. Recoveries are nearing 898,000 while the active cases have climbed to 93,080, the bulletin showed.