Week-long lockdown in Delhi; 'health system could collapse,' says Kejriwal
The Delhi government on Monday announced a week-long lockdown in light of the worsening COVID-19 situation in the national capital. The lockdown will come into effect from 10 pm on Monday. Earlier, a weekend curfew had been imposed in Delhi. The decision comes after a meeting between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant General Anil Baijal. Here are more details.
Lockdown till 5 am on April 26
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said, "If we do not impose a lockdown, we might be staring at a disaster. It is absolutely vital to impose a lockdown." He announced a lockdown from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am next Monday (April 26). He urged migrant workers to not flee the city. "This is a short lockdown and it will not be extended."
Essential services will be allowed; detailed guidelines out soon
Kejriwal said that essential services will continue during the lockdown. The number of guests at weddings has been capped at 50 and passes will be issued for such events, Kejriwal said, adding that a detailed lockdown order will be issued shortly.
'Will ramp up Delhi's health infrastructure during lockdown'
Kejriwal said, "We have managed the health infrastructure well so far. Our health system never collapsed even during the third wave, when Delhi was reporting 8,500 daily cases." "But today, with 25,000 daily cases, the health system is spread too thin. Without strict action, it could collapse," Kejriwal added, "During these six days (of lockdown), we will ramp up the health infrastructure."
'Shortage of hospital beds, ICU beds, oxygen, medicines in Delhi'
"There is a shortage of ICU beds. Less than 100 ICU beds are available. There is a shortage of oxygen, too. We have approached the Centre in this regard," Kejriwal said. "There is also a shortage of medicines, especially remdesivir."
Last week, Kejriwal had announced weekend curfew
Last week, Kejriwal had announced a weekend curfew (when only essential services were allowed) to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases. The curfew started at 10 pm on Friday and continued till 6 am on Monday. Earlier, it was reported that the curfew will likely be extended to weekdays after the meeting between the CM and the L-G.
Shopping malls, gyms, restaurants have been shut
Among other restrictions, Delhi had ordered shut shopping malls, gyms, spas, auditoriums, assembly halls, entertainment parks, and similar public places. Restaurants were shut for dine-in facilities, while cinemas and theaters were allowed to operate at 30% capacity.
Delhi reported 23.5K new cases today: Kejriwal
On Monday, Delhi reported nearly 23,500 new cases, Kejriwal said. On Sunday, a record 25,462 COVID-19 cases were reported. 85,620 samples were tested on the day, implying a high daily positivity rate of 29.74%, i.e., one in every three samples tested was found positive. The total caseload in Delhi has climbed to 8,53,460 (74,941 active cases). 161 more deaths pushed the toll to 12,121.