Covid-19 in India: Delhi, Uttar Pradesh extend lockdown until May 17; Metro services also suspended
The state governments announced the move amid a surge in Covid cases.
Delhi will remain under lockdown until May 17, it was announced today, even as the city battles a crisis of medical services and oxygen supply for over three weeks now.
A lockdown was imposed in the national capital on April 20 with some restrictions and the extended lockdown was supposed to end on Monday morning (May 10), but the state government decided to extend it for further one more week.
Announcing 'lockdown extension' through a digital press conference on Sunday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "Delhi had imposed lockdown on April 20 and has been extended again. With the support from people of Delhi cases have started to come down in the last few days and the positivity rate is also down to 23 per cent. However, we are not in a situation to give any relaxation in restrictions. I will request people of Delhi to continue to follow lockdown rules, otherwise, we will lose what we have gained (medical facilities) in the last few days."
The chief minister said that the fresh round of lockdown will be more stringent than before. "To combat the spread of Covid we have decided to take some more stringent measures including shutting down metro services from Monday morning," he added.
The chief minister urged the people of Delhi not to let down their guard in the fight against Covid. "The positivity rate has gone down but still we can't afford leniency. We need to extend the lockdown," Kejriwal said.
While the positivity rate, which stood at 35 per cent in mid-April, has dropped to 23 per cent, doctors say even this is very high and there is a need to break the chain of transmission.
This would be the fourth week of the lockdown imposed as the Covid numbers in the national capital skyrocketed, bringing hospitals to their knees and pushing patients and doctors to look to social media for help amid a huge crisis of oxygen, beds and drugs.
"During the lockdown we utilised the time to enhance our healthcare infrastructure. The main issue in Delhi was oxygen shortage. With Centre's help, the condition is better now," the chief minister said.
Amid a bitter fight with the Centre over oxygen availability in the Delhi High Court, the Supreme Court, which had taken up the issue, ordered the formation of a 12-member National Task Force to assess availability and distribution of medical oxygen.
Uttar Pradesh extends lockdown
The Uttar Pradesh government, too, has decided to extend the lockdown until May 17.
State Additional Chief Secretary, Information, Navneet Sehgal said it would be like a partial corona curfew. During this time all necessary services will continue as before.
In view of the fast spreading infections in the villages after the panchayat elections and the festival of Eid on May 14, the Yogi Adityanath government has extended the lockdown for a week, the official said on Sunday.
Industrial and e-commerce activities will continue as before. Ration distribution and vaccination will also carry on. However, in containment zones, only door-to-door delivery will be allowed.
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