NEW DELHI: With no other option in sight, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown in the national capital starting from 10 pm on Monday (April 19) up to 5 am on Monday (April 26).
"After taking stock of the entire situation, we have come to the decision that a lockdown is now very much required as the next step. The positivity rate is very high, the system is under a lot of pressure, we are running out of beds and oxygen suppply. The lockdown will be from tonight 10 pm to next Monday 5 am. There was no other option left," said the Chief Minister.
After a high-level meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday morning, the Chief Minister said that the healthcare system is under tremendous pressure and has reached its limit.
Earlier, the Delhi government had implemented a 'weekend lockdown' in the national capital to manage the crisis but it seems more stricter measure are required.
Last year, when a similar lockdown happened, an exodus of migrant labourers was witnessed due to fear and panic. However, the Chief Minister appealed workers not to rush for their hometowns.
During this period of six days, all non-essential activities have been banned and passes will be given for marriages.
"Delhi is witnessing 25.000 fresh coronavirus cases per day and our health system could collapse if the lockdown is not implemented now, which will cause a much larger catastrophe," added the Chief Minister.
On Monday morning, the Delhi government deployed two teams of officers to monitor procurement and supply of oxygen and the Remdesivir drug amid a shortage of both following an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases here.
The national capital on Sunday recorded the biggest jump in its daily COVID-19 tally with 25,462 fresh cases, while the positivity rate shot up to 29.74 per cent.
Earlier, Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal urging them to ramp up bed capacity in central government- run hospitals and to ensure “uninterrupted” supply of medical oxygen.
“The Covid situation has become very serious in Delhi. There is a huge shortage of beds and oxygen. I request that at least 7,000 out of 10,000 beds in central government hospitals in Delhi be reserved for Covid patients and oxygen be immediately provided in Delhi,” he wrote to the PM.
(With agencies input)