Announcing a six-day lockdown in Delhi from 10 pm tonight to 5 am next Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the move was necessary as rising Covid cases had severely strained the city’s resources and its health system was at a tipping point.
Delhi is the worst-hit city in India with 25,500 fresh cases on Sunday and almost one-third of those tested returning positive. In the last 24 hours, the number of cases remains high despite a dip — 23,500.
“Delhi’s health system is at a breaking point. I will not say it has collapsed but the Covid situation is pretty critical,” Arvind Kejriwal said in a televised address, asserting that the lockdown decision was not an easy one.
“I have always been against a lockdown. I believe the lockdown will not finish the virus, but it will reduce the transmission rate. It will give us time to boost our infrastructure. We will use this week-long lockdown to improve our healthcare,” he added.
Delhi is facing acute shortages of hospital beds, medical oxygen supplies and key medicines such as the anti-viral Remdesivir, said Mr Kejriwal.
“If we don’t enforce a lockdown now, Delhi could be staring at a “bigger disaster,” he explained. All shops and businesses will be shut and movement will be limited to essential services. There have been similar measures in other parts of India, including in Maharashtra.
On Sunday, Delhi recorded the biggest jump in its daily Covid tally with 25,462 fresh cases and a positivity rate of nearly 30 per cent, which means almost every third sample being tested in the city is turning out positiv