The COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi has been extended for another week, the government announced on Saturday, as it allowed manufacturing and construction businesses to resume work with conditions. The lockdown, set to end on Monday, will now be in place till June 7.
The companies that resume business will need to strictly follow coronavirus precautions and stagger shifts. Workers will be randomly tested for COVID-19 by the authorities.
Delhi on Saturday recorded 956 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest in over two months, and 122 more deaths from the infection while the positivity rate fell to 1.19 per cent from a high of 36 per cent in March, according to data shared by the health department.
This is the first time the cases count has gone below the 1,000-mark since March 22 when the tally was 888. On March 21, 823 cases were recorded.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that about 900 cases in a day have emerged after a long time and “I hope that as and when the cases decrease in the upcoming weeks, we will continue to unlock further. We want the economic activities to come back on track so that the economy can be revived”.
On Friday, he had said it was time to start the unlock process, but warned that if coronavirus cases start rising again “we will have to stop the unlock exercise”, and appealed to people not to step out unless it is absolutely necessary.
“This is the time to unlock lest people escape corona only to die of hunger (but) To avoid losing the advantage gained in the past month, everyone is of the opinion that we must open slowly, slowly. There has to be some balance,” he said.
On May 15, Mr Kejriwal had said, “The virus is reducing in Delhi slowly and steadily, and I hope it diminishes completely and does not rise again. However, we are not going to become negligent in anyway”, while sounding a tone of caution.
Delhi has been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic has swept the country, claiming thousands of lives daily, with the recent oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals adding to the crisis.
Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22. On May 2, the city registered a record 407 deaths, according to the official data.
However, the number of cases have shown a downward trend and the positivity rate too has been shrinking in the last several days.