Delhi's health system near collapse, no option except week-long lockdown: CM. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 19 : Imposing a second round of lockdown in Delhi was the need of the hour as an exponential surge in Covid-19 cases has brought the health system close to collapse, Delhi Chef Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday, before announcing a week-long lockdown in the national Capital.

The Chief Minister said the state government will be relentlessly using its all efforts to improve the health system of the national capital at this critical stage since the Covid-19 pandemic started early last year in the country. "However, at present, there is no other option left before the government except to impose a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in Delhi," Kejriwal said while addressing a press conference.

The decision to impose a week-long lockdown came after the Chief Minister met Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is also the chairman of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

"In a meeting with L-G today, we discussed a lot about Delhi's health management system, Covid-19 situation and government's preparation to fight against the spread of coronavirus in the city. And, we found Delhi's health system over-burdened, but not completely collapsed. We have reached a stage where we (Delhi Govt) have no other option but to impose an immediate lockdown," Kejriwal said.

The Chief Minister, however, announced that marriage functions will be allowed with only gathering of 50 people. Also, pregnant women and patients getting for medical treatment along with attendant will be allowed with doctors' prescriptions and production of valid -ID card.

The fresh DDMA order issued noted that public transport - metro, DTC and public buses etc will continue in services with their 50 per cent capacity. Auto rickshaws, taxi cabs would be allowed to carry only two passengers. However, the people travelling on any mode of transportation in Delhi will have to carry mandatory ID card.

"All private offices/ establishments, shop, malls, markets, manufacturing units, educational institutions, Cinemas and theatres shall remained close during curfew. All social, political, religious, cultural, festival related gathering will be prohibited. There shall be no restrictions on entre-state or intra-state movement/ transportations of essential goods. No separate permission or e-passes will be required for such movements," the DDMA order read.

"Curfew on movement of individuals (except for exemption given) in the territory of NCT of Delhi with effect from 10 pm on April 19 (Monday) to 5 am on April 26 (Monday). In case of any person found violating DDMA instructions, the defaulting person shall be proceeded against as per the provisions of section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act- 2005," a fresh order issued by DDMA read.

The DDMA order stated that government and private offices will remain close except those involve in essential services. "All judicial officers/officials staff members of all Courts of Delhi (Supreme Court Of India, High Court of Delhi, District Courts/ Tribunals will allowed with production of valid Identity Card, Service ID card/ Photo entry passes/ permission letter issued by the Court administration," DDMA said.

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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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