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NEW DELHI : The ongoing lockdown in Delhi will be extended for another week up to May 17 morning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday.

“This lockdown will be stricter and the Delhi Metro will not be plying from 10th May,"’Kejriwal said.

The chief minister said that when last month COVID cases rapidly surged in Delhi, an alarming number of people facing serious conditions, needing hospitalisation, ICU beds, many lost their lives.

“After 26th April, because a lockdown was imposed, the chain of the Coronavirus somewhat started to break. Starting 26th April, the cases began to decrease. Now, in the past 2-3 days, the positivity ratio has come down to 23% from the earlier 35 %. Thus the cases have started to come down in Delhi," said Kejriwal.

He further said that the current lockdown was to end at 5AM tomorrow, but now this is being extended to next Monday, 5AM, and will be more stringent. Starting tomorrow, the metro services will also stop operating," said the chief minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to Chief Ministers of Punjab, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand on the covid-19 related situation in their states as the country recorded over 4,03,738 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours.

Ten States reported 71.75% of the new cases in last 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 56,578. It is followed by Karnataka with 47,563 while Kerala reported 41,971 new cases. India’s total Active Caseload has reached 37,36,648. It now comprises 16.76%of the country's total Positive Cases.

A net incline of 13,202 cases recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours. 13 States cumulatively account for 82.94% of India’s total Active Cases. Over 4,092 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Ten States account for 74.93% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (864). Karnataka follows with 482 daily deaths.

With the surge in pandemic in the state, Punjab is facing issues with medical manpower as employees of National Health Mission have gone on a strike over salary issues. Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Sunday appealed the agitating employees to resume their duties from Monday (tomorrow) in larger public interest. “When a medical emergency is being witnessed in state and all over the country, the Punjab Government is particularly perturbed over the decision of 776 Community Health Officers (CHOs) and some other branches of NHM employees to join the strike," said Sidhu.

“This strike has extremely affected our ‘COVID Prevention Drive’ especially in rural areas of State. Due to the week long absence of CHOs, ANMs at Health and Wellness Cetres and Doctors and employees has increased the positivity and death rate as they are assigning the duty of sampling and tracing of suspected patients of covid-19," said Sidhu adding that if they don’t return to work the State Government will be forced to take strict action against them under The Disaster Management Act.

More than 30.22 crore tests have been conducted so far across the country while the daily positivity rate stands at 21.64%. The global community is extending a helping hand to support India’s efforts to meet the challenges and requirements of the unprecedented surge in the number of covid-19 cases in the second wave of the global pandemic.

Cumulatively, 6738 Oxygen Concentrators; 3856 Oxygen Cylinders; 16 Oxygen Generation Plants; 4668 ventilators/Bi PAP; about 3L Remdesivir vials have been delivered/ dispatched, from 27th April 2021 to Saturday. Major items received on 8th May 2021 from Canada, Thailand, Netherland, Austria, Czech Republic, Israel, USA, Japan, Malaysia, US (GILEAD), US (Salesforce) and Indian community in Thailand includes Oxygen Concentrators (2404), Remdesivir (25,000), Ventilators (218), Testing Kit (6,92,208), the union health ministry said in a statement.

The cumulative number of covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 16.94 crore on Sunday as the Phase-3 of the nationwide Vaccination Drive expands further. Meanwhile the central government is also looking at health consulting firms too for helping in mitigating the pandemic. “Realising the need for increased public-private sector engagement we are also supporting donor initiatives that will help strengthen the vaccine supply chain through our innovative and first-of-its kind blended finance facility that will allow social and market-based solutions to be introduced and scaled rapidly," said Ashwajit Singh, Managing Director, IPE Global, international development consulting firm. IPE global is currently supporting the central government in all relief efforts using resources, and technology to mitigate the crisis. The consulting company is supporting orientation and training of health workers on COWIN Application use, designing Covid-19 vaccination monitoring dashboard or facilitating with the set-up of vaccination sites.

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