New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday extended the lockdown in the national capital for another week. This comes a day after Delhi's COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 11.32 per cent after it reported just 6,430 new cases in the last 24 hours. This was the second time in a month when the city-state reported less than 10,000 fresh cases.

Kejriwal has credited the lockdown imposed by his government last month behind the dip in daily cases. However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo had hinted that the lockdown will not be lifted and stressed that Delhiites should continue taking all necessary precautions to ensure that cases do not rise.

"If we do not take precautions, then the cases will increase again. There is no guarantee that they will remain low. Delhi may face problems again. And therefore by no means, can we let loose. The lockdown has to be adhered to strictly and should employ all the ways to ensure protection from coronavirus," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

Kejriwal had imposed a lockdown in Delhi on April 19 which was later extended on May 1 and May 9 respectively.

Notably, several medical experts and doctors at several leading private and government hospitals have warned against lifting restrictions in Delhi, saying it would lead to a massive surge in cases again.

The experts and doctors have said that there should be "no room for complacency" and noted that the severity of infection is still high despite in decline cases. They have also urged the government to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the city-state.

"The severity of cases is still there and we must not lower our guards. We hope, people will learn lessons from this tragedy and horrific deaths and continue to follow COVID-appropriate behaviours," news agency PTI quoted Fortis hospital's Dr Richa Sareen as saying.

While experts have batted for the lockdown to continue, the National Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) has urged Kejriwal to lift the restrictions in a phased manner "with strict enforcement of laws".

The traders have accepted that lockdown has helped in controlling coronavirus cases but said that it is impacting the economy of Delhi.

"We are of the opinion that the government instead of extending lockdown should open the markets in a phased manner with strict enforcement of laws and proper sanitisation," NDTA president Atul Bhargava said while speaking to PTI.

At present, as per the Union Health Ministry data, Delhi has over 77,000 active COVID-19 cases while 12.74 lakh have recovered from the infection. On the other hand, the death toll in the national capital is more than 20,000.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma