New Delhi confined for a week from Monday evening

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New Delhi | Authorities in New Delhi will impose a week-long lockdown on the 20 million inhabitants of the Indian capital from Monday evening to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 cases and reduce pressure on hospitals.

India on Monday identified a new record for new contaminations: 273,810 cases over 24 hours. This is the fifth day in a row that the country has passed the 200,000 new case mark.

In Delhi, the most affected city in the country of 1.3 billion inhabitants, more than 25,000 cases have been recorded in 24 hours. Almost a third of those tested were positive.

“Delhi’s health system is at the breaking point. The COVID-19 situation is serious, ”said local government chief Arvind Kejriwal.

“If we do not impose lockdown now, we are facing an even greater catastrophe. Containment will begin tonight, until next Monday, ”he said.

Mr. Kejriwal said businesses would close and that travel would only be allowed for people performing a function deemed essential.

“Containment will not end the pandemic but it will slow it down. We will take advantage of this week of confinement to improve the situation in hospitals, ”he said, adding that the health system was“ under pressure ”and“ close to its limits ”.

Similar restrictions have already been decreed elsewhere in the country, notably in the states of Maharashtra (west), where the financial capital Bombay is located, and Tamil Nadu (south).