Delhi under lockdown for a week as rising Covid cases stretch health infra

Topics Delhi | Coronavirus | Lockdown

A display board shows no vacant beds at LNJP Hospital, New Delhi, on Monday | Photo: PTI
With more than 25,000 daily Covid cases stretching Delhi’s health infrastructure to its limit, patients gasping for oxygen, and bed occupancy running full, the national capital went into a week-long lockdown, starting 10 pm on Monday until 5 am on April 26. 

Meanwhile, the high court in Telangana gave a two-day ultimatum to the state government to decide on a lockdown or curfew.

Announcing lockdown in Delhi in a virtual address, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “If strict measures are not taken now, the health system in Delhi can collapse.” 

He said the lockdown period would be used to arrange more beds and supplies, such as oxygen and medicines. “If we do not impose a lockdown now, we might face a tragedy. We do not want Delhi to face such a situation where patients are lying on the corridors or losing their life on the streets; at any cost.” 

Less than 100 ICU beds were available in the city and hospitals were running short of oxygen.

“One private hospital informed us that around 3 am, the night before yesterday, it had almost no oxygen left. It was with great difficulty that it managed to procure oxygen. We are falling short of medicines, especially Remdesivir,” Kejriwal said.

The Delhi government also appealed to migrant workers not to panic and leave the city in a huff since the lockdown was only for a short duration.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) welcomed the Delhi government’s decision as a much-needed step to break the chain of the virus. Sharing an estimate, CAIT said that there would be a loss of business to the tune of Rs 600 crore per day in Delhi.

Prominent commercial markets of Delhi in a meeting held on Sunday had decided to self impose a lockdown until April 25. “Delhi's trade organisations are fully geared up to the extent that no person in Delhi should not face any problem in obtaining their essential commodities,” a statement by CAIT said.

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