Delhi has imposed a week-long lockdown from April 19 to contain a spike in Covid-19 cases, which has put the Indian capital’s health system “at a tipping point”.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the move was necessary now to prevent “a bigger disaster”.
Delhi has had five consecutive days of more than 200,000 cases as of Monday. On Sunday alone, 25,500 fresh cases were reported, with almost one-third of those tested returning positive Covid-19 results.
Businesses are shut and movement is restricted to essential services throughout the lockdown.
Thirteen other states, such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, have also recently imposed movement restrictions to combat fresh waves for Covid-19 infections. According to AFP data, India has recorded more than 1.4 million cases in the past week.
These restrictions are bruising India’s tourism and hospitality players, who have reported cancellations of room and banquet bookings at a time when many are still struggling to recover from the massive losses incurred since early 2020.
Meanwhile, against this challenging backdrop, the Indian government announced on Monday that it will expand the national vaccination programme to all adults from May 1. The programme, which started in January 2021, is presently available only to residents aged 45 and above.