Seeing a massive surge in Covid-19 cases, Delhi has been placed under lockdown From 19th till Monday morning 5 Am (April 26). Announcing the lockdown, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The restrictions will remain in place from 10 PM tonight till 5 AM next Monday.” The city’s health system is under stress, adding that hospitals are facing shortage of oxygen and ICU beds. He further added, “In order to prevent a total collapse, L-G Anil Baijal and I took this decision. And in this duration, essential services will be allowed and more beds will also be set up.” The Chief Minister also appealed to migrant workers not to leave Delhi during ‘small lockdown’.
Delhi on Sunday recorded the biggest jump in its daily COVID-19 tally with 25,462 fresh cases, while the positivity rate shot up to 29.74 per cent, meaning almost every third sample being tested is turning out to be positive. The decision to impose lockdown was taken during a meeting attended by CM Arvind Kejriwal, L-G Anil Baijal, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava, Delhi’s deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendra Jain and other officials. Essential services, however, will continue as it is during the weeklong curfew. Also, private and government offices will work remotely. Earlier, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) wrote to the LG and the Chief Minister, requesting them to impose a lockdown in Delhi for next 15 days. Several market associations too have supported the decision to keep shops closed. Schools, colleges, Malls, Restaurants and other non-essential services will be shut till further notice.
Dr Rakesh Mishra, Director of CSIR- CCMB (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology) on Sunday said, “The next three weeks are crucial for India in terms of the spread of COVID-19, adding that it is very important for people to follow guidelines very strictly.” Mishra emphasised that people must follow the guidelines very strictly to prevent themselves from being infected with COVID-19.Regarding the dearth of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and vaccines, Dr Mishra said that if the situation continues, the country will be in a disastrous state. “We have seen this kind of situation in Italy, where many people have lost their lives on the corridors of hospitals due to lack of treatment medicine and oxygen cylinders. Last year, healthcare workers were very effective in handling the situation,” he said. He further added, “In infections like Covid-19, it is quite common that there would be a second wave as the virus mutates and whichever of the mutated variant virus is stronger will spread faster. There have been a lot of new variants that have emerged. More people will be infected with the mutated variant in India if they don’t adhere to the Covid guidelines.”
After Delhi, other states are most likely to follow the same if the situation does not improve. Rajasthan has already announced a 14 day lockdown. Situation in Uttar Pradesh too is fast deteriorating. Organising Kumbh Mela during these uncertain times have already become a contentious issue wherein the PM had to intervene and ask the religious heads to keep it symbolic. But the damage is already being done. Also, holding of political rallies pan India is seen as yet another reason for the deadly surge.
Overall, the second wave has caused a huge loss of lives across India. Despite several pleas to follow Covid protocol, by maintaining safe distancing, wearing masks, and staying away from crowds, many of the people chose to ignore these appeals. The results are there for all of us to see. People living in big metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bhopal, are the worst hit. But all is not lost yet. There is still time for all of us to stay indoors and try to break this deadly chain of the Coronavirus.
Meanwhile after the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the surge in covid cases , Everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1. The government order states that it has liberalised the vaccination drive to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Under the third phase of the national vaccination drive commencing next month, the vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory released doses to the central government and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.
Manufacturers would have to make an advance declaration of the price for the 50 per cent supply that would be available to the state governments and in the open market before May 1, 2021, an official statement by the Union Health Ministry said.
Based on this price, state governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments, etc., would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers.