Appealing to people to stay at home during the six-day lockdown in Delhi amid the spiralling COVID-19 crisis, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the decision was taken in view of their health and safety. The lockdown kicked in from 10 pm on Monday and will continue till 5 am on April 26.
”The lockdown in Delhi has started today. This decision has been taken in view of your health and safety. Kindly cooperate with the government and stay home to keep safe from the infection,” Kejriwal tweeted. The chief minister had announced the lockdown on Monday, saying the health system in Delhi was under extreme pressure due to a large number of COVID-19 patients and it might collapse if strict action was not taken.
The lockdown follows a weekend curfew imposed on Friday night. Earlier, the government had also enforced night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am, but the surging number of coronavirus cases remained unabated. The government has allowed essential services and activities and also permitted movement for wedding ceremonies with a cap of 50 people. Funeral gatherings of upto 20 people are also allowed.
During the day, city roads and residential areas seemed secluded as few people were seen moving around. The national capital’s health system is stretched although it has not collapsed yet, Kejriwal had said, adding that despite upto 25,500 cases coming up in the last few days.
The lockdown is needed to prevent the health system of Delhi from collapsing under the increasing number of patients as there is an acute shortage of medicines, beds, ICUs and oxygen, he had said. People were packed inside their homes as private offices and other establishments like shops, malls, weekly markets, manufacturing units, educational and coaching institutes, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, assembly public parks, gyms, barber shops were closed down.
According to a Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order, people going for COVID-19 testing or vaccination have been exempted from lockdown on production of a valid I-card. People going to airports, railways, ISBTs have been allowed movement, but they will have show a valid ticket.
Delhi 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 — meaning almost every third sample being tested in the city is turning out to be positive.