Lockdown in Delhi: The national capital will be under a lockdown from Monday (April 19) night till next Monday to check the spread of Covid-19. A meeting held between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday took this decision.
The lockdown in Delhi will kick in on Monday at 10-pm and stay in force till 5-am on April 26. The categories of professionals and individuals, who were kept out of the ambit of the weekend curfew, are likely to remain exempted during the week-long curfew as well.
Grim situation in Delhi
Chief Minister Kejriwal said that the Covid situation in Delhi is grim. But he also appealed to the migrant workers to stay back. “The lockdown will be in force for a brief period. I hope we won’t have to extend it. I have always opposed measures like lockdown, which cannot end Covid. It can merely slow down the spread of the infection. Over the next six days, we will beef up the medical infrastructure in the city in cooperation with the Centre,” Kejriwal said.
Delhi has seen close to 23,500 cases in the last 24 hours. On Sunday, Delhi recorded the biggest jump in its daily Covid tally with 25,462 fresh cases. The positivity rate has spiked to alarming levels causing an acute shortage of beds. And it leaves virtually no ICU beds vacant.
“The day before, a private hospital averted a major disaster as it had nearly run out of medical oxygen supply. The Covid situation in Delhi is grim. Every health system has its threshold. Despite daily 25000 cases on average, the system is still running. But it will be disastrous if the health system collapses. The health system will not be able to handle more load. So, the government believes a lockdown in Delhi is imperative,” Kejriwal said.
E-passes will be issued to people engaged in running shops selling medicines, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish; people working in banks, telecom/ internet services, delivery of essential goods, petrol pumps; those going for Covid-19 vaccination. Marriages scheduled during the course of the week will also be allowed, Kejriwal said. At marriages and funerals, up to 50 and 20 persons respectively will be allowed.
Those engaged in essential services will be exempted. These include government officials, police, health workers, pregnant women and other patients, people travelling to and from airports, railway stations and ISBTs, electronic and print media.
Last week, the Delhi government had announced fresh curbs to tackle Covid-19 in the city including a weekend curfew, closure of shopping malls, auditoriums, gyms, spas, bars and dine-in services at restaurants. Last year, Delhi was under complete lockdown between March 22 and May 18. Beginning May 19, the city reopened in phases.