The lockdown in Delhi, which was implemented on April 19 to stem the surging second wave of COVID-19 infections, has helped arrest the daily cases, says Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain. The lockdown has been extended multiple times and is now in place till May 31.
Jain told reporters on Wednesday that Delhi saw 1568 COVID-19 cases yesterday and the positivity rate was at 2.14%. “At one period of time, the positivity surged to 36%. But it has been declining since and has come to around 2%. The fall in cases and the positivity rate can be directly attributed to the lowdown.”
In April, the entire health infrastructure of Delhi was at the brink of collapse, grappled with a severe shortage of medical oxygen and they only managed to procure very limited supplies. Hospitals ran out of beds to accommodate the increasing number of patients. And as such thousands of people lost their lives to the coronavirus. As such, the AAP-led Delhi government faced the ire of the public and the Centre over the unpreparedness to tackle the health crisis.
Now, the positive cases are on the decline. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said new cases have declined in recent weeks and the test positivity rate has fallen 2.5%, compared with 36% last month. “If cases continue to drop for a week, then from May 31 we will start the process of unlocking,” Kejriwal told a news conference.
However, the chief of the Indian Council of Medical Research said this month that districts with a high rate of infection should remain locked down for six to eight weeks to break the chain of transmission. On Sunday, the government had said it is conducting the highest number of COVID-19 tests, with more than 2.1 million samples tested in the previous 24 hours. But health experts warn India could face a third wave of COVID-19 in the coming months.