On a day the national capital recorded 2,137 coronavirus cases — the highest single-day jump yet — Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain ruled out the possibility of another round of stringent lockdown in the capital. Traders’ bodies, meanwhile, sent out conflicting signals on running businesses amid soaring cases.
Responding to a growing speculation that the authorities may enforce shutdown measures once again to manage the escalating Covid crisis, Jain told reporters, “No, lockdown will not be extended.”
Earlier this week, Jain had said: “When the lockdown was imposed, there were 100 cases across the country, and now that number has gone up to thousands. If we impose lockdown again, there will be no logic as cases will increase from around 2.5 lakh to 25 lakh despite the lockdown.”
A total of 36,824 cases and 1,214 deaths have been recorded in the capital — 129 deaths were added to the toll on Friday, with 71 in the last 24 hours. The death rate in the city has increased to 3.2% while the national average is 2.8%.
Delhi was among the first metro cities to allow a wide range of activities after the third phase of the lockdown ended. Apart from Delhi Metro services, every mode of public transport and all kinds of commercial activities have resumed in the city.
However, during the day, the Delhi Chapter of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) issued a statement saying it was reviewing the decision to carry out business as usual in light of the Delhi government’s statements that number of coronavirus cases may cross 1 lakh by June-end and touch 5.32 lakh by July 31.
“The statements have caused a huge stir in the business markets of Delhi. CAIT has begun an online survey among the leading trade organisations of Delhi, seeking their opinion on whether Delhi’s markets should be closed to bring down the numbers as projected,” said Secretary General of CAIT Praveen Khandelwal.
Khandelwal added that while shops are open, business continues to suffer as customers from outside Delhi are not coming to the wholesale markets and footfall at retail markets remains low. A decision will be taken on Saturday, he said.
The Federation of Sadar Bazar Traders’ Association, on the other hand, said that the market will remain open.
Meanwhile, 5,947 tests were conducted in a day, taking the cumulative number of tests done so far in the city to 2,77,463. At present, Delhi is performing 13,740 tests per million population.
Almost 24% of the new cases reported Friday were admitted in hospitals, as per a projection by top medical experts on Delhi’s health graph.
On Friday, while 523 people were admitted to hospitals, 349 patients were discharged. A total of 13,398 patients have recovered/been discharged from the hospitals. The recovery rate of the city is 36%, below the national average of 49%.
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