New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital has decided to extend the lockdown in the city-state amid the massive spike in coronavirus cases across the country.

Noting that the situation in Delhi is 'critical', Kejriwal, while addressing a virtual press conference, said that the lockdown, which was imposed last week, will continue till next Monday 5 am.

"Corona still continues to wreak havoc. Public opinion is also that lockdown should increase. So the lockdown is being extended for one week," said Kejriwal, adding that the positivity rate in the national capital has increased to 37 per cent.

Speaking about the acute shortage of medical oxygen in Delhi to treat COVID-19 patients, Kejriwal said that his government has started a portal that will be updated every two hours by O2 manufacturers, suppliers and hospitals for better management of oxygen supply.

Also Read -- Delhi lockdown extended till next Monday amid spike in COVID cases; here's what's allowed and what's not

Thanking the Centre for its help, AAP supremo said that he has written a letter to chief ministers and representatives of all states and union terriotries (UTs), urging them to provide spare oxygen to Delhi.

"Now the oxygen quota of Delhi has increased from 480 to 490 metric tons. However, the requirement is 700 metric tons and what's reaching us is 330 to 335 metric tonnes only," Kejriwal said.

The Kejriwal government had imposed a six-day lockdown in Delhi last week that was supposed to end on April 26. In its guidelines, the AAP government had closed all non-essential services in Delhi, urging Delhiites to avoid going outside if it is not necessary.

However, despite imposing a lockdown, COVID-19 cases continued to soar across Delhi over the past week, leading to a shortage of essential medical equipment, including oxygen, to treat patients.

Looking at the situation, calls to extend the lockdown increased in Delhi with Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) writing a letter to Kejriwal, asking him to extend the restrictions.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has slammed the Centre and the Delhi government over the handling of the crisis, it's a "tsunami of cases" in the national capital. It also asked the Centre and the Delhi government to coordinate on the issue of making available medical oxygen to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

"The Delhi government should, therefore, make all-out efforts for the procurement of cryogenic tankers from whatever source they can be made available, and look for all possible avenues. As aforesaid, the sub-Group in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) shall also help in this regard, and we expect the officers of both the governments to interact and co-ordinate in this regard," the Delhi High Court said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma