Kejriwal extends Delhi lockdown by one more week even as COVID count drops

Kejriwal extends Delhi lockdown by one more week even as COVID count drops

Kejriwal announced on Sunday the lockdown would remain in effect until 5am on May 24.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that his government was extending the lockdown to curb COVID-19 by one more week.

The lockdown in Delhi was first announced on April 19 as the national capital reeled under the second wave of COVID-19. It was subsequently extended every week.

Kejriwal announced on Sunday the lockdown would remain in effect until 5am on May 24. Kejriwal noted that while COVID-19 cases were declining, the test positivity rate had yet to reach five per cent.

The move to extend the lockdown comes even as the number of new COVID-19 cases and the test positivity rate for the infection has been decreasing steadily over the past week.

On Saturday, Delhi reported 6,430 new COVID-19 cases, the second straight day that new cases remained under 10,000. However, the number of fatalities in Delhi remains relatively high.

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On Saturday, a total of 337 deaths were reported. A health department official told The Indian Express on Saturday that these deaths were of people who had fallen ill 10-12 days ago.

“The progression of the disease and deaths is such that you first start to see a spike in cases, followed by a spike in hospitalisation. Unfortunately, despite spending a week or two in ICUs, many people are not able to make it. We expect that the number of deaths in a day will start falling in the coming week,” the official noted.

The director of a major hospital in Delhi on Friday had attributed the decline in cases to the lockdown.

"Lockdown, I would say, is the biggest factor in arriving at a situation where we are now, when daily cases from 28,000 have come down to about 8,500. However, it is still a huge figure, and there should be no room for complacency, on any front," Medical Director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH), B L Sherwal, told media.

"While daily cases have come down, the severity of infection is still the same, and new patients are being brought to our hospital in the same condition as before. Many of them are brought dead or die shortly after being brought to emergency. So, we must understand the gravity of the situation," he added.

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