NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Sunday extended the ongoing lockdown in the national capital for another week, till 5 am on May 31, even as the number of fresh COVID cases continued to drop rapidly. In the wake of the surging second wave, lockdown was imposed in Delhi on April 19.
With the fifth extension, the city will complete nearly one-and-a-half month under restrictions to break the chain of infection. Announcing the decision, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said if the case tally keeps falling in the coming days, thegovernment would start the unlock process in a phased manner from June 1.
"I will not say that we have won the battle. There is still a lot left to be won over but now it seems that we are gaining control over the situation. So, I appeal to all to follow the lockdown like earlier," he said.
The positivity rate in the city had touched 36 per cent in April. This has fallen below 2.5 per cent by Sunday, said the chief minister.
"In the last 24 hours, the infection rate has fallen below 2.5 per cent i.e, if we are testing 100 people only 2.5 out of them are testing positive. This means the infectionrate has reduced rapidly. In April, there were days when we saw 28,000 cases in a single day. In the past 24 hours, only 1,600 cases have been recorded in Delhi. So the speed of infection has declined rapidly in Delhi," he added.
Kejriwal said the city faced a lot of problems in the last one month but the residents fought together like a family. There was an acute shortage of oxygen but the central government, Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court came together and resolved the issues. "Now, there is an acute shortage of vaccines and I hope we will also solve it together," he said.
Stating that the top priority of his government now is to figure out how to vaccinate the 2.5 crore population of the city, Kejriwal claimed that the AAP government had made all arrangements to vaccinate the entire population within three months.
"But there is a shortage of vaccines across the country. If all are vaccinated then probably, we can be protected from the third wave. I am personally talking to the Centre, the manufacturing companies and foreign firms for vaccines," he added.
It is being said that a third wave of COVID-19 will arrive. If everyone get vaccine, perhaps the third wave may not arrive, he said in his address to the people. Kejriwal further said his government is willing to spend funds from its budget to gets vaccines.
"It does not matter at what cost they are giving it to us. We are willing to spend from the budget of the Delhi government. Meanwhile, the government is making other vital arrangements like beds, ICU beds and oxygen needed to fight the third wave," he added.