Indian capital New Delhi extends Covid-19 lockdown by a week

The current shutdown had been due to expire on May 2, 2021.
The current shutdown had been due to expire on May 2, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - The Indian capital New Delhi will stay in lockdown for another week because of the surge in Covid cases, the megacity's chief minister said on Saturday (May 1).

"Lockdown in Delhi is being extended by one week," Mr Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter.

The current shutdown had been due to expire on Monday but the number of cases is still rising fast in the city of 20 million people.

According to health ministry data released on Saturday, New Delhi recorded 27,000 new cases and 375 deaths.

But with tests recording a positivity rate of almost 33 per cent, experts suspect the real numbers are much higher.

The city’s hospitals have been overwhelmed, with lethal shortages of beds, drugs and oxygen meaning many people have been dying outside without treatment.

Many of Delhi’s graveyards are now full and many crematoriums are working around the clock and burning bodies in waste ground and car parks.

Nationally India reported more than 400,000 new cases on Saturday in the past 24 hours, the first country to do so.

April saw the country report seven million new infections.