Asia

Indian capital extends Covid-19 lockdown until June 7

NEW DELHI (XINHUA) – The Covid-19 lockdown in the Indian capital region has been extended for another week until June, the government has announced.

However, the restrictions have been eased for two sectors – manufacturing and construction businesses, the government said on Saturday (May 29).

“The lockdown, set to end on Monday, will now be in place until June 7,” an official said. “The companies that resume business will need to strictly follow Covid-19 precautions and stagger shifts. Workers in these places will be randomly tested for Covid-19 by the authorities.”

Last Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Delhi has gained control over the second wave of Covid-19 and the city will now start the process of lifting the lockdown gradually from next week. Mr Kejriwal, however, said the fight against the pandemic has not ended.

“The situation of Covid-19 in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi has again been reviewed and observed that, though the number of Covid-19 patients and positivity rate is declining, the situation is still precarious,” according to the order quoted in local media.

“Therefore, in order to contain the spread of virus and to further break the transmission chain, curfew needs to be extended for another week in the territory of NCT of Delhi (except for essential activities/services), permitting reopening of certain prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside the containment zones for overall well being of the people of NCT of Delhi.”

Delhi last Friday recorded 1,141 new Covid-19 cases and 139 related deaths, the health ministry said on Saturday morning.

The chief minister said that every week, based on experts and public opinion, the government will decide to continue the lockdown or start the unlock process.

“Nobody likes lockdown. We are not in favour of lockdown. But if Covid-19 cases start to rise once again, then the unlocking process will have to be stopped,” he said.

The national capital region went under a complete lockdown at 10pm local time on April 19, which got extended since then.

Other states that have announced an extension of lockdown to one more week are Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and Karnataka.

India is witnessing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and the second wave of the pandemic has posed a challenge for the country.

The health ministry on Saturday said that 173,790 new Covid-19 cases during the past 24 hours have taken the cumulative tally to past 27.7 million across the country.

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