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Amid an alarming surge in Covid-19 cases, the Delhi administration is mulling an extension of the week-long lockdown, reported news agency PTI quoting government sources.

"The idea behind the brief lockdown was that it will control the cases and give time to boost the health infrastructure, but the situation has gone from bad to worse. In such a situation, extending the lockdown, by maybe another week, is a possible option," a source in the Delhi government was quoted as saying.

A six-day lockdown was announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 19 April that will be in force till 5 am on Monday. The step was taken to break the chain of the coronavirus infection and boost the health system that was on the verge of collapse.

However, despite the restrictions, the positivity rate in Delhi continues to be over 30% and the number of fresh is on a rise.

Kejriwal had earlier appealed to the migrant workers not to leave the city during the lockdown as he hoped that there might not be a need to extend it further.

Traders want extension

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Trade and Industry claimed that according to a survey conducted by it, 70% of the Delhi traders favour extending the lockdown till 30 April.

The survey included traders from Kashmiri Gate, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar, Sadar Bazar, Khari Baoli, Karol Bagh, Kamla Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Nehru Place, South X and Shahdara.

"Most organisations were in favour of extending the lockdown for five to seven days in Delhi. The traders made it clear that they would follow the decision of the Delhi government only about the lockdown and won't do any lockdown on their part," said Brijesh Goyal, chairman of the CTI.

Community platform LocalCircles has also appealed to the authorities, including the chief minister and the lieutenant governor, to extend the lockdown in view of the "biggest health emergency" faced by the city.

There is an urgent need to add capacity to the medical infrastructure and flatten the daily Covid cases, local circles chairman Sachin Tapadia said, suggesting an extension of the lockdown by one or two weeks.

Cases in Delhi

The national capital on Saturday reported 24,103 new Covid-19 cases and 357 deaths, the highest single-day toll for the city since the outbreak of the disease. This is the third successive day the national capital has seen the highest daily fatalities due to coronavirus.

The city now has 93,080 active cases, which is also the highest.

With inputs from agencies.



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