NEW DELHI : In the wake of surging COVID cases in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that lockdown has been extended in the national capital by a week till May 3 (Monday, 5 AM). Delhi has witnessed heart breaking scenes as families watch their loved ones die for want of medical resources at the doorsteps of overstretched hospitals.
Making the announcement at noon, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Coronavirus still continues to wreak havoc in the city. Public opinion is that lockdown should increase. So the lockdown is being extended for one week”.
Mr Kejriwal, however, said the Delhi government will give concessions to courier service and self-employed people providing services — including electricians, plumbers and water purifier repairs — who would need an e-pass. Children’s bookstores and electric fan shops are also exempted.
“We had imposed a six-day lockdown in Delhi. The lockdown is being extended to next Monday till 5 am,” Kejriwal said in a virtual address, a move that meant the city will be under tight restrictions for at least little more than a week. “The lockdown was out last weapon against Corona. We have spoken to several sections and have decided to extend the lockdown by one more week. We hope that this will further bring down the positivity rate,” Mr. Kejriwal said. He added that despite the lockdown, cases continue to rise in the city and the spread has not stopped.
However, he said that the positivity rate that rose to 36-37% (the highest in the country) during the start of the lockdown is now showing signs of improvement over the past two days, and has fallen in the past 24-hours below 30%. “We have to monitor this situation closely and see if it comes down further,” he said. On the oxygen shortage in the city that has lead to several deaths, the Chief Minister said that the government has been working all night to ensure that oxygen reaches hospital on time.
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On Thursday, the city had recorded a positivity rate of 36.24 per cent — the highest since the pandemic reached. While it dropped to 32.27 per cent last evening, the number of fatalities reached a record high of 357. The number of cases, though, dropped from last week’s 28,000-plus a day to over 24,000 — a high caseload that has kept the city’s hospitals at a breaking point, with a galloping crisis of beds, drugs and oxygen.
“While we have failed to deliver oxygen at some places, in other places we have succeeded the situation should be under control in the coming few days,” the Chief Minister said.Currently, though the Centre has increased Delhi’s oxygen quota again from 480 to 490 metric tons, the access problems remain. “The requirement is 700 metric tons and what’s reaching us is 330 to 335 metric tonnes only,” he said.
To get ahead of the curve, the Delhi government has started a portal for oxygen management. This will record the status of supplies from the manufactures to the hospitals every two hours, he said. Hospitals will have to give their consumption data in the last two hours and the supplier has to tell how much was supplied in that period, Mr Kejriwal explained. “With this, the government will know where there is going to be a shortage and it can be corrected,” he said. “This will let the government know where there is a shortfall and can be fixed accordingly,” he added.
Delhi lockdown: Who are exempted?
Officials of Government of India, its autonomous or subordinate offices and PSUs, on production of valid I-card.
Offices of Delhi government, autonomous bodies, corporations shall remain closed except those involved in essential and emergency services such as Health and Family Welfare and all related medical establishments.
Police, Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and emergency Services, District Administration, Pay and Account Office, Services, GAD, Electricity, Water and Sanitation, Public transport (air, railways, delhi metro, uses) including all incidental services or activities that are essential for smooth functioning of all modes of public transport (such as handling of cargo, ticketing, air freight station, CFS ICD etc), Disaster Management and related services, NIC, NCC and Municipal services, and all other essential services.
All Judicial officers, official staff members of all courts of Delhi on production of valid I-card, service ID card, photo entry passes permission letters issued by the court administration.
All private medical personnel such as doctors, nursing staff, paramedical etc, and other hospital services (such as hospitals, diagnostic centres, testing laboratories, clinics, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, medical oxygen suppliers and other medical and health services including incidental services/activities such as supply of medical instruments & consumables, sanitation, security) on production of valid I-card.
Pregnant women and patients for getting medical health services along with attendant, on production of valid I-card, doctor’s prescription, medical papers.
Persons who are going for COVID-19 testing or vaccination, on production of valid |-card. Persons coming from or going to airports, railway stations/SBTs allowed to travel on production of valid ticket.Officers/officials functioning in the offices of Diplomats of various countries as well as persons holding any constitutional post on production of valid I-card. Electronic and print Media on production of valid I-card.
Students shall be allowed to appear in examination on production of valid admit card. The examination staff deployed for exam duties shall be allowed to travel on production of valid I-card.Movement of persons for marriage related gatherings up to 50 persons (on production of soft or hard copy of marriage card) and funeral/ last rites related gatherings up to 20 persons is continued to be allowed.
Delhi lockdown: Who will require an e-pass? • Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy & milk booths, meat & fish, animal fodder, pharmaceuticals, opticians, medicines and medical equipment, news papers distribution.• Banks, Insurance offices and ATMs, SEBI/ Stock related offices • Telecommunications, Internet services, Broadcasting and Cable services, IT and IT enabled services. • Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce.
(With Agency Inputs).