The governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday said they will extend statewide lockdowns till May 17 in a bid to tackle the surge in COVID-19.
While making the announcement, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal promised to strictly enforce restrictions and said metro services will be suspended for a week.
The CM made it clear that saving lives was a bigger priority right now. “If we survive, we can think of economic recovery in later stages,” he said.
The current lockdown in Delhi was scheduled to end at 5am on Monday, May 10. It has now been extended till 5am May 17 through an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
DDMA is chaired by Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal; Kejriwal is the vice chairperson.
“We have also decided that now enforcement of the lockdown will be scaled up and metro services will remain completely shut down. I am sure people will follow all regulations,” Kejriwal said.
Under the current lockdown imposed on April 20, there are restrictions on general movement of people and economic activities, with exemptions for essential services and goods with certain conditions.
“On April 20, we were forced to impose a lockdown because of an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases. We were also running out of beds, ICUs, etc. On April 26, the positivity rate increased to 35 per cent. After April 26, because of the lockdown, the situation slowly started improving. Positivity rate has now reduced to 23 per cent. We cannot afford to go back to a worse situation from this stage. The situation has to be further controlled,” the CM said.
Kejriwal said Delhi had used the lockdown to strengthen its health infrastructure.
“The oxygen situation has slightly improved with interference of the Supreme court and Delhi High Court and cooperation of the central government. The vaccine drive has also been expanded now. All arrangements are in place and turnout is high. There is a shortage of stock but we have sought help from the central government in this regard and we are sure this will be resolved soon,” he said.
The Yogi Adityanath-led government too extended the partial ‘corona curfew’ imposed in UP till May 17, news agency ANI reported.
During this period, all essential services will be allowed. However, people will need an e-pass for intra-district and inter-district travel. The e-pass can be obtained by visiting the official website of the UP government, rahat.up.nic.in.
Shops and establishments, private and government offices, restaurants, bars, sports complexes, gyms, and educational institutes will remained closed in UP.
In Jammu and Kashmir the administration extended the lockdown in all 20 districts till May 17.
The order has put all 20 districts under ‘corona curfew’: Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Kulgam, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur, Bandipora, Kupwara, Shopian, Rajouri, Poonch, Samba, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban.
On April 29 the administration imposed a curfew in 11 districts. The next day this was extended to all 20 districts till May 3.