The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday announced to gradually lift the ongoing lockdown from Monday by permitting construction and manufacturing works in the national capital, after more than a month of complete lockdown imposed in the city to combat the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
From April 19, when the present phase of lockdown was imposed in the national capital by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, till Friday (May 28), as many as 11,590 people lost their lives due to Covid in the city, according to the data released by the Delhi government in its daily health bulletin.
As per the Delhi government data, till May 19, Delhi's total Covid related deaths were reported at 12,361. With the addition of 139 deaths reported on Friday, the city's overall death toll presently stands at 23,591.
On the day the lockdown was announced, Delhi's daily Covid positivity rate stood at around 27 per cent, which has dropped below 2 per cent now.
During this period, as many as 103 doctors have died in Delhi, the highest among all the states and Union Territories (UT). The deceased include Padma Shri awardee doctor K.K. Aggarwal and former Delhi Health Minister A.K. Walia.
In this regard, Delhi is followed by Bihar where 96 doctors passed away, while 41 doctors succumbed to Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh.
While announcing the complete lockdown on April 19, Kejriwal had stated, "Delhi's health system over-burdened, but not completely collapsed."
On Friday, while announcing phase-wise lifting of the lockdown, Kejriwal said, "There has to be some balance. Every week, based on the suggestions from citizens and experts, we will keep opening up progressively. If the rate of infection increases again, we will put the unlocking on hold. So everyone must maintain caution."
Speaking to IANS on the present Covid situation in the national capital, B.L. Sherwal, Medical Director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGGSH), one the biggest dedicated Covid centres under the Delhi government, said, "At present, the Covid situation in Delhi is under control as the number of daily cases has declined. But we must keep in mind that lifting the lockdown will show its results in the next two weeks, only after which one can make an assessment."
It may be recalled that Sherwal had earlier stated that four months of relaxation after the first wave of the Covid pandemic was one of the main reasons behind the spread of the second wave of the disease in the national capital.
When asked if the time is right to lift the lockdown in Delhi, Sherwal said, "If the lockdown is completely lifted and the daily cases surge up to 20 per cent in two weeks, then the situation will remain under control. But if the daily surge in cases crosses 20 per cent, it would mean that we are back to the same stage from where we had started."