New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that his government has decided to extend the lockdown, which was scheduled to end on Monday, till 5 am on May 17 in the national capital despite a steady decline in daily COVID-19 cases.

Warning that the restrictions, will "stricter this time", the AAP supremo said that the positivity rate in the national capital has come down to 23 per cent from 35 per cent in the last two to three days.

Announcing the extension of lockdown, Kejriwal said that metro services in Delhi will remain suspended from Monday till May 17. He, however, said that all other essential services will continue in the city-state. 

Kejriwal said that the situation was grim in Delhi but his government used the lockdown period to boost the city-state's medical infrastructure and to increase oxygen beds. Thanking the central government, he said that the oxygen situation in Delhi has improved, adding that his government is not getting "panic or SOS calls" from hospitals now.

Also Read -- Delhi Lockdown: Complete ban imposed on marriages at public places amid COVID uptick | Details here

"We've also started vaccination in Delhi. We've made excellent arrangements in our schools. Youngsters are participating in large numbers. We have a shortage of vaccines but I hope the central government will help us," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Notably, several citizens and traders had also urged Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to extend the restrictions for another week. The lockdown was first imposed on April 19 and extended on April 25 and May 1 respectively.

Meanwhile, Delhi has continued to see a decline in its daily cases over the past few days. On Saturday, it reported 17,364 new infections while 19,832 and 19,133 cases were recorded on Friday and Thursday respectively. On Wednesday, it had reported 20,960 cases while 19,953 infections were recorded on Tuesday. 

As per the information available at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi has a total caseload of 13.10 lakh while the active tally stands at 87,907. Meanwhile, 12.03 lakh paitents have recovered from the infection while more than 19,000 have lost their lives in the national capital.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma