New Delhi: Lockdown has been extended in Delhi for another week, announced Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday. The lockdown restrictions in Delhi will continue till 5 am on May 31 but if the Covid cases continue to drop, “the process to unlock the city in a phased manner may start”. Delhi on Saturday registered 1,600 Covid cases.
While announcing the lockdown extension till May 31, Arvind Kejriwal said unlocking in Delhi may start after May 31 if the Covid-19 cases continue to decrease. He also said that the Covid situation in Delhi has improved in the past few weeks.
“If Covid-19 cases continue to decrease in the coming days, we will begin to unlock Delhi in a phased manner from May 31,” Arvind Kejriwal announced.
“We didn’t know how long this wave would have lasted. But withing a month, the people of Delhi cooperated. Delhi has fought the virus like a family… even when there was an oxygen emergency… now there is an acute vaccine shortage. But I believe we will find a solution to this too,” he said.
Addressing a virtual press conference, Arvind Kejriwal said the Covid-19 positivity rate has come to 2.5 per cent in Delhi which was 36 per cent back in April. “1,600 new Covid cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours.”
On Saturday, Delhi’s positivity rate had dropped to 3.58 per cent — the lowest since April 1. The national capital logged 2,260 new Covid cases, and the death count, at 182, also saw a major drop. Saturday was also the fourth consecutive day the city logged less than 4,000 daily cases. On Friday, Delhi recorded 3,009 cases and 252 deaths, with a positivity rate of less than 4.76 per cent.
The Delhi chief minister said, that if the Covid cases continue to drop, “the Delhi government will unlock the city in a phased manner.” CM Arvind Kejriwal said the lockdown was required so that the gains made after much struggle are not lost.
“Right now, our priority is to ensure vaccination for people in the shortest possible time,” the Chief Minister said.
“We have made all arrangements in Delhi so that within three months, everyone should get vaccinated, but there is lack of vaccines,” he said, adding that if everyone can be vaccinated in time, “we may escape the third wave of Covid”.
The Delhi government, he said, is trying everywhere to get the maximum number of vaccine doses — from the central government and also from foreign companies.
If anyone is giving the vaccine, “we are ready to buy it for the people of Delhi at any cost,” he added.
“There is a possibility that the third wave won’t hit if everyone is vaccinated. We are planning to vaccinate everyone as soon as possible. I’m in talks with domestic & foreign companies regarding vaccines. We’re ready to spend from our budget,” Arvind Kejriwal said.
Earlier this week, the Delhi government said it would form a task force of paediatricians and senior IAS officers. Another committee will be formed to look into the logistics — availability of medicines, oxygen and beds in the national capital, the Delhi government said in a statement.