Article by Chhavi Manchanda
New Delhi: In an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, the Delhi government, on Saturday, decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by another week. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter as he announced “Lockdown in Delhi is being extended by one week.”
Lockdown in Delhi is being extended by one week
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 1, 2021
The current lockdown was to end on Monday, May 3 however, it has been further extended for one more week. The lockdown will now continue till 5 am on May 10 and restrictions/relaxations that were announced in the previous order will continue to prevail. Essential services like medicine shops, vegetable shops, groceries etc. will be allowed, but shop owners and customers will have to ensure social distancing. Other than these, banks, insurance offices, ATMs, print and electronic media, telecommunication internet, broadcasting, IT and cable-related services and e-commerce delivery services are also allowed to function. It should be noted that public transport facilities, such as Delhi Metro and public buses will be allowed with 50% seating capacity during the lockdown period while autos, e-rickshaws, taxis, and app-based cabs can carry can up to a maximum of 2 passengers. Moreover, intra-state and inter-state movement of essential goods is also exempted.
This is the second time in 2021 when the lockdown has been extended to contain the spread of the virus. The restrictions in Delhi were first placed on April 19.
The state reported over 27,000 fresh cases and 375 deaths in 24 hours, recording the 13th day with more than 20,000 cases daily. Delhi’s active caseload is now nearly one lakh – more than double the previous high of around 44,000 recorded in mid-November last year. This alarming surge in covid cases has got the hospitals overflowing with doctors traumatised over the dearth of medicines and oxygen supply and crematoriums crammed.
Earlier in the week, a body of 95 traders’ associations in Delhi had urged Delhi L-G Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to extend the lockdown till May 15 taking cognizance of the prevailing Covid-19 situation.