India coronavirus: Delhi announces lockdown as Covid cases surge


New Delhi – April 19 (Online): India’s capital Delhi has announced a week-long lockdown after a record spike in cases overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system – BBC reported on Monday.
Government offices and essential services, such as hospitals, pharmacies and grocers, will be open during the lockdown which starts on Monday.
The city had imposed a weekend curfew but reported its highest single-day spike so far on Sunday – 24, 462 cases.
India has been reeling from a deadly second wave since the start of April.
“I have always been against lockdowns, but this one will help us amplify the number of hospital beds in Delhi,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a press conference on Monday.
According to BBC, India has been reporting more than 200,000 cases daily since 15 April – this is well past its peak last year, when it was averaging around 93,000 cases a day.
Deaths too have been rising. India confirmed 1,620 deaths from the virus on Sunday.
Maharashtra, which has India’s financial hub Mumbai as its capital, remains the worst-hit state, accounting for a nearly a third of India’s more than 1.9 million active cases.
But Delhi is the worst-hit city, confirming more cases daily than Mumbai in recent days.
Hospitals are struggling to accommodate Covid positive patients in Delhi and other badly hit cities such as Mumbai, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Several states have been reporting an acute shortage of beds in Covid wards and ICUs.
Even test results are being delayed because of overwhelming demand, which, doctors say, is leading to people not getting diagnosed and treated in time.