New Delhi: Even as strict lockdown-like measures including a curfew are in place in the national capital to contain the spread of coronavirus, the domestic traders body CAIT has urged the Delhi government to further extend the lockdown beyond April 26 to bring the pandemic under control. In a letter to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said going by the current statistics, the situation is quite alarming in Delhi.Also Read - Delhi Government Likely To Provide Subsidies On Purchase Of e-bike Soon

“The CAIT has urged for extension of lockdown in Delhi beyond April 26 as and when the situation is improved, the lockdown can be lifted,” the confederation said in a statement to the Delhi government. Also Read - Will Not Spare Any Leader If Involved In Corruption: Kejriwal After Punjab CM Sacks State Minister

Saying that the lockdown might cause financial loss to traders and the economy, it said all are still aware of the considered opinion that in order to save the lives of the people of Delhi and protect them from any further spread of COVID-19, the lockdown should be extended. Also Read - Enjoy Free Rides On DTC's E-Buses For 3 Days From Today In Delhi

On April 19, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced a six-day lockdown in the national capital till April 26 and said it was necessary to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases as the city’s health system was stretched to its limit.

Apart from CAIT, traders of many markets have now written to the lieutenant governor and the chief minister to extend it beyond April 26.

On Friday evening, over 35 market associations of Delhi held a meeting to discuss the matter and agreed that the traders would themselves keep the markets shut for a few more days in the national capital as they felt that breaking the chain of infection was important.

Speaking to Times of India, Devraj Baweja of Sadar Bazar Traders Association said that at least 80 traders were present at the meeting and it was mutually decided that all will keep the shops closed even after the weeklong shutdown. During the meeting, they also agreed that the present situation in Delhi was highly chaotic and grim and, therefore, calling for more strict measures along with the lockdown to break the chain of infection was needed.

Sanjay Bhargava, president of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, told TOI that majority of labourers had left for their hometown and it wouldn’t be possible to conduct business activities without them. He also added that the Delhi government now should implements norms strictly and take a decision on the lockdown during the weekend.

The development comes as the national capital on Friday logged 24,331 fresh COVID-19 cases and a record single-day jump of 348 deaths while the positivity rate stood at 32.43 per cent. The city has reported around 2,100 deaths due to the deadly virus in the last 11 days. With the fresh cases, the national capital’s cumulative tally climbed to 9,80,679 on Friday. The death toll stands at 13,541, the health bulletin stated.