Delhi will be under a six-day lockdown from 10 pm tonight to 5 am next Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced, calling it a necessary step to prevent a bigger crisis in the capital. Only essential services will be allowed.
“If we don’t impose a lockdown now, we might face a bigger calamity. The government will take full care of you. We took this tough decision taking the situation into consideration,” Arvind Kejriwal said.
“The six-day lockdown will help us arrange more beds and supplies.”
Mr Kejriwal said ICU beds were almost over and oxygen levels were critically low in the city. He shared that one private hospital had run out of oxygen at 3 am on Saturday, which could have escalated into a massive crisis.
“We are not trying to scare you…I won’t say the health system has collapsed but it is really stressed. There are limits to any system.”
All private offices will Work From Home and only government offices and essential services will be open, say reports.
Groceries, shops selling food and medicine and newspapers will be open. Banks, ATMs, insurance offices will be open. Home deliveries and takeaways will also be allowed.
On Sunday, Delhi recorded the biggest jump in its daily Covid tally with 25,462 fresh cases and a positivity rate of nearly 30 per cent, which means almost every third sample being tested in the city is turning out positive. A day before, 24,375 Covid cases and 167 deaths were reported in the city.
The capital had only this morning emerged from a weekend curfew enforced to “break the chain of transmission”. Continuing violations in parts of the city in the past two days also signaled that harsher steps were needed, officials said.
Mr Kejriwal met with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal before announcing the tough step.
In the earlier order, auditoriums, restaurants, malls, gyms and spas were shut down in Delhi and movie theatres are allowed only with a third of their capacity. All gatherings — social, religious or political – were banned. Those instructions stand.
Last year, Delhi was under complete lockdown between March 22 and May 18 and after this, the capital reopened in stages.