A majority of Delhi residents want an extension of COVID-19 lockdown by at least one more week, as per a survey conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles.
While 68 per cent of the respondents favoured extension of lockdown by at least a week, 48 per cent wanted it to be extended by another two weeks. The survey received close to 8,000 responses from residents located in all 11 districts of Delhi.
The ongoing six-day lockdown is ending on Monday, April 26.
While 28 per cent respondents favoured extension of lockdown by another three weeks, only 9 per cent voted for ending the lockdown/curfew and removal of all restrictions. 16 per cent respondents wanted the lockdown to end, but night curfew to continue.
The national capital on Friday reported 24,331 new COVID-19 cases and 348 deaths because of the infection in the preceding 24 hours. The positivity rate stood at 32.43 per cent.
An earlier survey conducted by LocalCircles on April 15 had indicated that 59 per cent of Delhi residents were in favour of imposing the lockdown in the city, while a similar survey in late March had shown that only 16 per cent residents were in support of a lockdown. Rising COVID-19 cases, shortage of oxygen, and people seeing their contacts in social networks struggling to find hospital and ICU beds, ventilators, oxygen, Remdesivir drug, etc, are among the factors that have influenced the voter preference.
On April 19, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the imposition of six-day lockdown to control the rising coronavirus cases. Delhi was under a weekend curfew before the announcement was made.
LocalCircles said it will share the findings of the survey with the offices of Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister and Chief Secretary of Delhi as they finalise the future course of action. The platform suggested that the extended lockdown period should be utilised to ramp up hospital beds, oxygen, medicines and ventilator capacity and to prepare the state's health system to handle more caseload in the coming days.
While 64 per cent of the total respondents in the survey were men, 36 per cent were women. LocalCircles said all participants are validated Delhi residents who are registered with the platform.
The platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions, and enables the government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric.