Delhi is likely to extend the lockdown by another week as the city’s healthcare system buckles under the pressure of an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, sources have said.
An order to extend the lockdown is likely to be issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) today.
Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a six-day lockdown till Monday, calling it necessary with the city’s resources at a breaking point in an escalating Covid crisis. “If we don’t impose a lockdown now, we might face a bigger calamity. The government will take full care of you. We took this tough decision taking the situation into consideration,” Mr Kejriwal had said.
As top hospitals in Delhi continue to send SOS messages over oxygen shortage, Mr Kejriwal last evening made an appeal to all the chief ministers in a tweet. “I am writing to all CMs requesting them to provide oxygen to Delhi, if they have spare. Though the Central government. is also helping us, the severity of corona is such that all available resources are proving inadequate,” he wrote.
I am writing to all CMs requesting them to provide oxygen to Delhi, if they have spare. Though Central govt. is also helping us, the severity of corona is such that all available resources are proving inadequate.
– Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 24, 2021
Delhi recorded 357 deaths in the last 24 hours, highest ever in a day. More than 24,000 fresh cases were reported. The positivity rate stood at 32.27 per cent.
With the fresh cases, the national capital’s caseload has surged to over 10 lakh and the death count stands at 13,898.
The alarming spike in cases has put the city’s healthcare system under tremendous pressure. Twenty-five people died on Friday night at the Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi due to shortage of medical oxygen, a top official at the hospital said.
On the same day, at Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, another 25 died; the hospital told NDTV it was unclear how many were due to oxygen deprivation, but stressed that the crisis was very real.
As it heard a hospital’s petition on oxygen crisis, Delhi High Court on Saturday made several scathing remarks. If anyone obstructs oxygen supply, “we will hang that man”, the Delhi High Court reportedly said.
The court also questioned the centre over the preparedness to tackle with the second Covid wave.
“We are calling it a wave, it is actually a Tsunami,” the court said, and asked the Centre about the preparedness in terms of infrastructure, hospitals, medical staff, medicines, vaccines and oxygen as on date for the peak.