Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 19
Battling a punishing fourth wave of the COVID pandemic, New Delhi is all set to go under a six-day lockdown starting 10 pm tonight until 5 am on April 26, Monday, after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the decision today.
Urging cooperation of locals, the CM said the lockdown had become necessary to prevent a situation where people started dying on the roads or in hospital corridors.
“We cannot have people dying on the roads,” a visibly shaken Chief Minister said, noting that New Delhi had successfully faced the first three waves and the severe third wave in which cases peaked to 8,500 a day.
“We did not allow health systems to collapse even in the third wave but now with 23,500 cases in the last 24 hours and over 25,000 in the previous 24 hours, the health infrastructure is at its seams. If we do not take restrictive steps now, the system will collapse and we do not want that,” said the CM justifying the lockdown decision even though he said he was personally against lockdowns and believed that lockdowns only decreased the speed of the pandemic and were not a solution to the pandemic itself.
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The CM said the six-day lockdown span would be used to prepare the health system, augment hospital bed capacity, arrange medical oxygen supplies and medicines including Remdesivir, which are all in critically short supply.
Kejriwal said ICU bed vacancy in the capital had exhausted.
The CM also appealed to migrant workers not to leave the city.
“This is a very short lockdown and we will take care of you,” he said adding that venturing out of homes and travelling must be avoided.
Essential supply establishments and services will be exempt from curfew on production of valid I cards.
The CM said people would be given passes to attend planned weddings, this being a wedding season.
Persons coming or going to rail stations, airports or bus stations will be allowed on production of valid tickets.
Students will be allowed to appear in exams on production of valid admit cards and exam staff deployed on duty will be allowed to travel on production of valid I card.
There will also be no restriction on inter-state movement of essential goods and no separate e-pass would be required for the same.
The curfew order said religious places will be allowed to open but no visitors will be allowed.
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