Lockdown Extended in Delhi till 10 May

The Delhi Government again extends the lockdown period by another week, rules remain the same. Hospitals complain shortage of oxygen, 12 patients including a doctor died at Batra’s Hospital; CM alleges Centre for supplying a petite Oxygen resource.

On Saturday, 1st May 2021, the Delhi Government extended the lockdown in the NCR for another week. The lockdown was supposed to end at 5 AM Monday, but looking at the rising cases and resource shortages (especially oxygen shortages), Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal decided to extend the period. The lockdown in Delhi will now continue till 5 am on May 10 and restrictions/relaxations that were announced in the previous order will continue.

This decision of the Lockdown extension was announced by Kejriwal himself on Twitter. “Lockdown in Delhi is being extended by one week,” Kejriwal said in the respective tweet. Last Sunday, he had announced the first lockdown in Delhi, saying “Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in the city. Public opinion is lockdown should increase. So, it is being extended for one week.” This is the second extension of the lockdown in the NCR.

Previously on Friday, the administration reported over 27000 new cases and a total of 375 deaths in 24 hours; the 13th straight day with more than 20000 cases daily. Delhi has seen a rapid rise in its Covid-19 cases, resulting in a severe scarcity of hospital beds. Deaths too have mounted and the city’s crematoriums are constantly being heaving. For days, several hospitals have been complaining of a shortage of oxygen to treat patients.

The active caseload in the NCR is approximately one lakh, doubling the previous stats of around 44,000 recorded in mid-November last year. This spontaneous rise in the number of cases has pushed the city’s healthcare framework to its breaking point. Due to this dual challenge of rising cases and a strain on the healthcare system, Delhi has been under a complete lockdown since 19th April. 

As per the order relating to the lockdown in the NCR, essential services like medicine shops, vegetable shops, groceries, etc. will be allowed, but shop owners and customers will have to ensure social distancing. Takeaway service, home delivery of food and essential items will remain open; public gatherings and public events will remain prohibited; groceries, dairies, shops selling fruits and vegetables, bakeries, and confectionaries shall remain open; banks, insurance offices, ATMs, print and electronic media, telecommunication internet, broadcasting, IT and cable-related services and e-commerce delivery services are allowed to function; petrol pumps, LPG, CNG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets shall also remain open.

Courier and repair services, shops for educational bookshops are given liberty and those employed by these places can apply for e-passes for movement. Also, intra-state and inter-state movement of essential goods is not prohibited. Government officials, including employees of public sector units, are also given permission but they will have to show their official IDs. Private employees working in the essential services sector such as healthcare are also included in the exempted masses.

Public transport is allowed but with restrictions. Delhi Metro and buses will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Auto rickshaws and cabs can operate with a maximum of two passengers, while maxi cabs will be allowed to ferry up to five passengers. The RTVs will be allowed a maximum of 11 passengers at one time. Persons going or coming from ISBTs, train stations, and airports, on the production of a valid ticket.

Simultaneously, on Saturday, 1st May, 12 Covid-19 patients, including a doctor, died at Delhi’s Batra Hospital due to a shortage of medical oxygen. SC Gupta, medical director of the hospital told the PTI, “We are trying to resuscitate five other critical patients.” 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed grief over the incident on Twitter, adding 

“This news is very painful. Their lives could have been saved by giving them oxygen on time. Delhi should get its quota of oxygen. Can’t see our people dying like this. Delhi needs 976 tons of oxygen, but it received only 312 tons yesterday. How will Delhi breathe in such a less amount of oxygen?”

Previously, this week a body of 95 traders’ associations in Delhi had requested the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, and the CM to extend the lockdown till May 15 to control and stop the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

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Feature Image Credits: Financial Express

Nirmanyu Chouhan

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