Week-long lockdown in New Delhi as virus cases top 15 million

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India’s capital New Delhi imposed a week-long lockdown which started last night, officials said, as the megacity struggles to contain a huge surge in COVID-19 cases with hospitals running out of beds and oxygen supplies low.

The nation of 1.3 billion people reported a record-high of 273,810 infections yesterday – the fifth consecutive day of over 200,000 cases – to take the total to just over
15 million.

In Delhi – the worst-hit city in India – 25,500 fresh cases were reported on Sunday, with almost one-third of those tested returning positive coronavirus results.

“Delhi’s health system is at a tipping point. The COVID-19 situation is pretty critical,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a televised address.

“If we don’t impose a lockdown now, we will be looking at a bigger disaster. From tonight there will be a lockdown until next Monday.”

A view of deserted roads during a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in Prayagraj, India. PHOTO: AP