NEW DELHI / LUCKNOW / HYDERABAD: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a one-week lockdown from Monday evening until April 26. With the exception of essential services, all other activities will be prohibited during the lockdown.
“After reviewing the whole situation, the government considers it appropriate to impose a lockout on Delhi for a few days … During this time, all essential services in terms of food, medicine would continue” , said Chief Minister Kejriwal.
The CM added that the healthcare infrastructure in the nation’s capital, which is experiencing an explosion of coronavirus cases, is outdated and the lockdown is aimed at ensuring it does not collapse.
The number of containment zones in the nation’s capital rose to 13,259 from 2,183 on April 1, according to official data released by the Delhi government as the city works to curb the drastic surge in COVID cases.
This was a 507% increase in these areas between April 1 and April 18.
The number of containment zones has increased in line with the increase in coronavirus cases.
As of April 1, the city had reported a total of 2,790 new cases with 10,498 total active cases.
The number has multiplied by several with 25,462 new cases of COVID-19 and 74,941 total active cases on April 18.
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While the number of containment zones has steadily increased since April 12, the biggest jump was seen on April 18, when the nation’s capital recorded the largest daily increase in coronavirus cases.
As of April 17, Delhi had 11,235 containment zones, which rose to 13,250 on April 18, adding more than 2,000 zones across the city.
The week of April 4 to 11 saw a gradual increase in the number of containment zones.
While on April 4, the city had 2,917 restricted areas, it added 173 more on April 5, resulting in 3,090 containment zones.
Over the next few days, the Delhi government declared 3,291 containment zones on April 6; 3,708 on April 7; 4,226 on April 8; 4,768 on April 9; 5236 on April 10 and 5705 on April 11.
It was after April 14 that the city began adding more than 1,000 containment zones to the list every day.
On April 14, there were 7,598 containment zones, which rose to 8,661 on April 15 with the addition of 1,063 zones.
1,268 additional zones were added on April 16, for a total of 9,929 such zones.
On April 17, he added 1,306 additional containment zones to the list.
The decision was announced after a high-level meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
Delhi recorded 240 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, the highest since the pandemic began more than a year ago, and 23,686 cases with a positivity rate of 26.12%, according to data shared by the Ministry of Health.
The city has reported 823 deaths from the deadly virus in the past five days.
As of Sunday, the city saw the biggest rise in its daily COVID-19 count with 25,462 new cases, while the positivity rate soared to 29.74%.
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Authorities reported 161 deaths from the disease a day ago.
As of Saturday, 24,375 cases of COVID-19 and 167 deaths were reported in the city.
The city suffered 141 deaths on Friday and 112 on Thursday.
With the new cases, the cumulative total for the national capital has increased to 8,77,146.
The death toll stands at 12,361, according to the latest bulletin.
A total of 90,696 tests, including 68,778 RT-PCR tests and 21,918 rapid antigen tests, were performed the day before, the bulletin said.
So far, more than 7.87 lakh patients have recovered in Delhi, he added.
The number of active cases in the city rose to 76,887 from 74,941 the day before, the bulletin said.
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Meanwhile, thousands of migrant workers gathered at the city’s interstate bus and train stations to return home, even as Kejriwal asked them with folded hands not to leave Delhi and gave them a word of assurance. – “Main hoon na” (I’m here for you).
The news of a weeklong lockdown has led people to flock to markets to stock groceries, essentials and other groceries.
Meanwhile, trade associations hailed the six-day lockdown.
“It was an essential step in breaking the chain of infection,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT).
Long serpentine queues were seen outside liquor stores in Delhi shortly after the lockdown was announced on Monday, with drinkers braving the sun for hours and at times engaging in heated arguments.
Delhi has reported around 25,000 cases of COVID-19 per day over the past few days.
A weekend curfew was in effect in the nation’s capital from Friday evening to Monday morning.
The government set up a committee on Monday to ensure the “rational” use of oxygen for the treatment of patients with COVID-19, according to an order.
The city’s hospitals are grappling with the depletion of the medical oxygen supply.
The order issued by the health department said the “Oxygen Audit Committee” will identify areas of unnecessary consumption.
Kejriwal on Sunday called the oxygen shortage for coronavirus patients an “emergency”.
He also wrote to Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal to request his intervention in the matter.
After the announcement, serpentine lines were seen outside liquor stores with drinkers leaping to refuel.
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There were large crowds at the city’s interstate bus terminals and train stations as thousands of migrant workers set off for their home countries. Kejriwal urged them not to leave Delhi as it is a short six-day lockout.
Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered the government of Uttar Pradesh to impose strict restrictions, including the closure of malls, shopping complexes and restaurants until April 26 in five cities – Allahabad , Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar and Gorakhpur.
The HC criticized the state government for “not planning” a second wave of the pandemic and also criticized the State Election Commission for holding the panchayat elections at that time.
The death toll from COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh increased by 167, the largest daily increase so far, to 9,997, while 28,287 new cases brought the number of infections in the state to 8, 79,831, according to a health bulletin.
The number of recoveries has increased with more than 10,978 patients released in one day, he said.
A total of 6,61,311 people have so far recovered from the disease in the state, leaving 2.08,523 active cases, according to the bulletin.
Of the 167 new deaths from COVID-19, 22 were reported in Lucknow, 18 in Kanpur, nine in Chandauli and Allahabad, 10 in Varanasi, six in Banda and five in Gorakhpur, Ballia, Shahjahanpur and Bahraich, a-t- he declares.
Among the new cases, Lucknow reported 5,897, followed by Varanasi 2,668, Allahabad 1,576 and 1365 from Kanpur.
Regarding recoveries, the state capital also recorded maximum recoveries and 2,641 patients were released, while in Varanasi and Allahabad 1,421 and 1,378 people were released. he declares.
Additional Chief Secretary, Information Navneet Sehgal said more than 3.84 crore of samples have so far been tested for COVID-19 in the state, with more than two lakh tested in one day.
Likewise, the Telangana High Court on Monday ordered the state government to issue Covid-19 guidelines within 48 hours to minimize footsteps in liquor stores, restaurants, wedding halls and venues. cinemas, among other crowded places.
(With PTI inputs)