COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi: Curfew in effect till 5 am next Monday; healthcare system at limit, says CM

The Delhi government will make use of the six-day lockdown period to arrange for beds, oxygen and medicines, Kejriwal said and appealed to people to abide by the lockdown.

FP Staff April 19, 2021 13:29:07 IST
COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi: Curfew in effect till 5 am next Monday; healthcare system at limit, says CM

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a sid-day lockdown in the National Capital. ANI

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a six-day lockdown in the National Capital from Monday night, saying that the city's healthcare system has been stretched to its limits to the growing burden of coronavirus cases.

The lockdown will be in place from 10 pm on Monday (19 April) to 5 am next Monday (26 April), he said. Essential services will continue to operate in the period, he added. The chief minister said that weddings will be allowed with a cap of 50 people and passes will be issued for the same. A detailed order will be released soon, he added.

Kejriwal made the announcement after a meeting with L-G Anil Baijal over the second wave of COVID-19. The Delhi government has already imposed weekend restrictions and a night curfew, which is to continue till 30 April.

"The maximum number of tests are being done in Delhi and if you look at the tests per 10 lakh population, Delhi may be conducting the highest number of tests in the world. One lakh tests are being done daily in Delhi as of today," said the chief minister and maintained that the government is putting all data in front of the people.

Highlighting the present COVID-19 situation in the National Capital, Kejriwal said that in the past 24 hours, around 23,500 cases were reported and in the 24 hours before that around 25,500 infections were recorded.  Around 25,000 cases are being reported over the past 3-4 days. The chief minister added that the positivity rate and the infection rate has gone up and shortage of hospitals beds is arising.

ICU beds are almost over and less than 100 ICU beds are available according to the app. There is also a shortage of oxygen , we have written to the Centre and discussions are on with them, he said.

There is also a shortage of medicines, especially Remdesivir, the chief minister said. "The coronavirus situation is quite serious in Delhi. It is witnessing the fourth wave," he said.

"In the third wave Delhi recorded around 8,500 case but still the system did not collapse. Instead we stepped up preparations. Today Delhi recorded 25,000 cases and the health system has reached its limits. The health system is stressed. I won't say it had collapsed but it is under stress," the chief minister said.

The chief minister expressed fears that if strict measures are not are not taken now, the health system may collapse and a tragedy may occur. "If we don't impose a lockdown right now, it shouldn't happen that a tragedy occurs," he said while announcing the lockdown.

"The LG and I have taken the decision when we had no other option. It was not an easy decision as I understand how during lockdown livelihoods are affected, especially for those in the poorest section and for those dependent on daily wages."

The chief minister appealed to migrants to stay in Delhi and assured that the government will take care of them. He expressed hope that this is a short lockdown and it will stay this way. "I have full hope that we won't have to extend the lockdown," he said.

Kerjiwal said he has always opposed lockdown but added that even though the lockdown doesn't end coronavirus but it definitely reduces the speed by which the virus spreads. These lockdown measures are needed to bring down the number of patients and strengthen the health system, he said.

The Delhi government will make use of the six-day lockdown period to arrange for beds, oxygen and medicines, the AAP leader said and appealed to people to abide by the lockdown and not to step out of their houses.

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