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NEW DELHI : Traders' body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Thursday appealed to the Delhi lieutenant governor and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to extend Delhi’s lockdown till 15 May citing the current ongoing surge of covid-19 cases in Delhi that are causing record daily deaths in the capital.

On 29 April, Delhi reported 25,986 fresh cases of covid-19 and 368 deaths. Countywide, too, cases are on the rise; on Thursday morning India reported 379,000 cases, the highest daily case count ever.

Delhi had taken a call to enter a week-long lockdown starting 19 April, this was subsequently extended for another week till 3 May. However, given the capital’s strained health infrastructure, the trade association has sought a longer lockdown.

“The continued rapid increase of covid cases in Delhi and proportional non-availability of required medical facilities have worsened the situation and we understand it may take time to restore normalcy in Delhi with the efforts of your government. Keeping this fact into consideration, a meeting of prominent trade associations was held at Delhi yesterday…where it has been unanimously resolved to request you for extension of lockdown in Delhi beyond 3 May and the same may be extended unto 15 May 2021," CAIT said in its letter to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi on 29 April.

CAIT said the present situation in Delhi is highly chaotic, horrible and grim. It has thus asked for an extension of the lockdown to break the chain of the virus. Delhi has currently directed non-essential shops, malls, etc. to shut down.

“Despite various steps taken by your government in the past two weeks, it is an admitted fact that Delhi is highly suffering with shortage of medical oxygen, capacity of hospitals for providing beds is over and there are no beds in hospitals, acute shortage of medicines, injections, shortage of oxygen, shortage of oxygen cylinders, non-availability of oxygen concentrators, the covid affected people are quite helpless," it said.

CAIT pointed out that Delhi’s daily testing rates have also come down, with testing capacities full and results taking unusually longer.

CAIT said it is also asking that all entry points to Delhi must have provisions for monitoring covid-infected people—especially at airports, railway stations, inter-state bus stands and all borders. This is to ensure that no covid infected people can enter Delhi or should be put to compulsory 15-day quarantine.

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