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Weekend lockdown empties Delhi's streets amid major COVID-19 surge

Delhi has the most daily COVID-19 cases for any city in India. Landmarks such as the historic Red Fort where tens of thousands of people would normally gather are deserted.

April 17, 2021 / 02:19 PM IST
New Delhi led major cities across India into a weekend lockdown on April 17 as the country witnesses a fierce second wave of COVID-19 cases. More than 2.34 lakh new daily cases were reported on April 17, with families of patients clamouring for medicines and hospital beds. (Image: AFP)
New Delhi led major cities across India into a weekend lockdown on April 17 as the country witnesses a fierce second wave of COVID-19 cases. More than 2.34 lakh new daily cases were reported on April 17, with families of patients clamouring for medicines and hospital beds. (Image: AFP)
Hopes that South Asia might have beaten the pandemic have been dashed with India seeing over 20 lakh new cases this month alone and Bangladesh and Pakistan also imposing shutdowns. (Image: AFP)
Hopes that South Asia might have beaten the pandemic have been dashed with India seeing over 20 lakh new cases this month alone and Bangladesh and Pakistan also imposing shutdowns. (Image: AFP)
India added another record 2.34 lakh COVID-19 cases on April 17 to pass 1.45 crore overall and 1,341 deaths took its pandemic total to 1.75 lakh deaths. The per capita rates remain low by international comparison, but the speed at which cases are rising led the international Red Cross to call the South Asian surge "truly frightening". India now has three times the daily cases of the United States, the world's worst-hit country. (Image: AFP)
India added another record 2.34 lakh COVID-19 cases on April 17 to pass 1.45 crore overall and 1,341 deaths took its pandemic total to 1.75 lakh deaths. The per capita rates remain low by international comparison, but the speed at which cases are rising led the international Red Cross to call the South Asian surge "truly frightening". India now has three times the daily cases of the United States, the world's worst-hit country. (Image: AFP)
After a national lockdown a year ago led to an economic slump, the Centre is desperate to avoid a second stoppage. But Delhi joined financial hub Mumbai in ordering all but essential services to close. (Image: AFP)
After a national lockdown a year ago led to an economic slump, the Centre is desperate to avoid a second stoppage. But Delhi joined financial hub Mumbai in ordering all but essential services to close. (Image: AFP)
Landmarks such as the historic Red Fort where tens of thousands of people would normally gather were deserted. "Not one person has turned up," said security guard Anil Dayan. Police checked many of the cars that strayed onto the streets. (Image: AFP)
Landmarks such as the historic Red Fort where tens of thousands of people would normally gather were deserted. "Not one person has turned up," said security guard Anil Dayan. Police checked many of the cars that strayed onto the streets. (Image: AFP)
The city of more than 20 million people now has the most daily cases in India and restaurants, malls and gyms were all closed. Weddings can go ahead with guests limited to 50 people, while only 20 can attend funerals. "Don't panic. All essential services will be available through the weekend," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. (Image: AFP)
The city of more than 20 million people now has the most daily cases in India and restaurants, malls and gyms were all closed. Weddings can go ahead with guests limited to 50 people, while only 20 can attend funerals. "Don't panic. All essential services will be available through the weekend," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. (Image: AFP)
Uttar Pradesh, home to some 240 million people, has ordered a one-day lockdown on April 18. Maharashtra, Gujarat and the IT hub Bangalore's home state Karnataka have also imposed restrictions on movement. (Image: AFP)
Uttar Pradesh, home to some 240 million people, has ordered a one-day lockdown on April 18. Maharashtra, Gujarat and the IT hub Bangalore's home state Karnataka have also imposed restrictions on movement. (Image: AFP)
Similarly, the northern state of Uttarakhand has restricted gatherings to 200 people -- but exempted the Kumbh Mela. The gathering in Haridwar has attracted up to 25 million people since January, including some 4.6 million this week alone, with most people ignoring COVID-19 guidelines. (Image: AFP)
Similarly, the northern state of Uttarakhand has restricted gatherings to 200 people -- but exempted the Kumbh Mela. The gathering in Haridwar has attracted up to 25 million people since January, including some 4.6 million this week alone, with most people ignoring COVID-19 guidelines. (Image: AFP)
More than 1,600 people tested positive for coronavirus in Haridwar in barely three days this week and experts fear that many devotees will take the virus back to their home towns and villages. (Image: AFP)
More than 1,600 people tested positive for coronavirus in Haridwar in barely three days this week and experts fear that many devotees will take the virus back to their home towns and villages. (Image: AFP)
The latest round of voting also went ahead in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly election with long queues forming outside polling stations. Rival parties have been holding huge rallies in recent weeks again fueling super-spreader fears. (Image: AFP)
The latest round of voting also went ahead in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly election with long queues forming outside polling stations. Rival parties have been holding huge rallies in recent weeks again fueling super-spreader fears. (Image: AFP)
Hospitals are running short of oxygen and widely prescribed medicines such as Remdesivir and Fabiflu, prompting desperate people to pay exorbitant black market rates. (Image: AFP)
Hospitals are running short of oxygen and widely prescribed medicines such as Remdesivir and Fabiflu, prompting desperate people to pay exorbitant black market rates. (Image: AFP)
Social media is full of horror stories of desperate calls to help a loved one needing hospital treatment for COVID-19 or other complaints. (Image: AFP)
Social media is full of horror stories of desperate calls to help a loved one needing hospital treatment for COVID-19 or other complaints. (Image: AFP)
AFP
first published: Apr 17, 2021 02:19 pm

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