New Delhi: Districts that are reporting a high number of coronavirus cases should remain under lockdown for another six to eight weeks to break the chain of transmission. In an interview, Dr. Balram Bhargava, head of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) asserted that lockdown should not be lifted from districts where the rate of infection is above 10% of those tested. At present, major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have test-positivity rate above 10%. Also Read - Delhi Unlock: From Restaurant Timings to New Rules For Bars, All Your FAQs Answered

“The high positivity districts should remain (shut). If they come to 5% from 10% (positivity rate) we can open them, but that has to happen. That won’t happen in six-eight weeks, clearly,” Reuters quoted him as saying. Also Read - World Music Day 2021: History, Significance And Inspirational Quotes by Well-Known Personalities

Talking about the capital, where the positivity rate reached has now fallen to 17% from 35%, Dr. Bhargava said, “If Delhi is opened tomorrow, it will be a disaster.” Also Read - International Yoga Day 2021 LIVE Updates: Yoga a Ray of Hope Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Says PM Modi

In Delhi, the lockdown first imposed on April 19 amid a steep rise in COVID-19 cases has been extended thrice so far. On May 9, it was extended by another week by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, till May 17.

“Lockdown no solution”

Meanwhile, National Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) president Atul Bhargava said that Lockdown is not a permanent solution and the Delhi government should now think of opening markets in a “phased manner” with strict enforcement of laws.

“Nobody was in favour of the lockdown since the beginning. But then we just had no option keeping in view the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases. However, now 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,” Bhargava told PTI.

“Here, we also need to understand that even after the opening of the markets, it will take another 15-20 days for people getting ok with the idea of heading out and us to restore the sense of confidence in them,” he added.

Number of fresh COVID cases down to 10,400 in Delhi

Addressing a press conference, Delhi CM Manish Sisodia said that the number of new cases has come down to around 10,400 from a high of around 28,000. The positivity rate has dipped from 35 per cent to 14 per cent. More beds are available in the COVID hospitals now and the demand for oxygen has also dipped.

The national capital reported 13,287 COVID-19 cases and 300 more fatalities due to the viral disease on Wednesday with a positivity rate of 17 per cent. It reported 12,481 cases on Tuesday, 12,651 on Monday, 13,336 on Sunday, 17,364 on Saturday, 19,832 last Friday, 19,133 last Thursday, 20,960 last Wednesday and 19,953 last Tuesday.

The positivity rate was 17.8 per cent on Tuesday, 19.10 per cent on Monday, 21.67 per cent on Sunday and 23.34 per cent on Saturday.

On April 22, a positivity rate of 36.2 per cent, the highest so far, was recorded.