68% Delhi residents surveyed in favour of 1-week lockdown extension
- ● Percentage of residents supporting a lockdown drops slightly from 85% to 68% in last 2 weeks as Delhi recorded 3,000-6,000 daily cases.
May 22, 2021, New Delhi: Within 5weeks of lockdown that began on April 18, the national capital of India has seen COVID-19 daily cases steadily come down from a high of 26,000 to 3,000-6,000 this week, and the test positivity rate has also declined from a high of 36% to 5-7% during this period. There has also been an increase in the availability of ICU beds and ventilators in both private and public hospitals with the recovery rate rising. However, the number of COVID fatalities in Delhi continue to be still high in the 200-300 range each day.
In a move to contain and mitigate the spread, the Government of Delhi in the last 1 month extended the ongoing lockdown in the city four times by 1 week. The ongoing lockdown, which was scheduled to conclude on May 17 was extended for another week after the demand was made by 74% of Delhi residents via the LocalCircles’ survey. The current 1-week period lockdown ends on May 24. To understand what the people of Delhi want post-May 24 in regard to extension of lockdown, LocalCircles conducted another survey that received close to 9,000 responses from residents across all 11 districts of Delhi. 69% of the respondents were men while 31% were women.
68% residents of Delhi in favour of extending the lockdown/curfew by atleast 1 week
Taking cognizance of the 3,000 - 6,000 daily case load and 5-7% test positivity rate in Delhi, the survey sought residents of Delhi’s view if they support the further imposition of a lockdown/curfew in the city after May 24. In response 10% said “extend it by 3 weeks”, 26% said “extend it by 2 weeks”, and 32% said “extend it by 1 week”. There were only 10% voting for “end the lockdown/curfew and remove all restrictions”, while 22% said “end the lockdown/curfew and just impose night and weekend curfew.” The findings of the poll indicate that 68% residents of Delhi are in favour of extending the lockdown/curfew by atleast 1 week. This question in the survey received 8,878 responses.
Though percentage of Delhi residents in favour of lockdown extension drops, 68% still support a 1-week extension
LocalCircles survey conducted on March 28 had indicated that only 16% residents of Delhi were in favour of imposing the lockdown in the city. With an unprecedented rise in cases, shortages of oxygen, and people seeing their contacts in social networks struggling to find hospital and ICU beds, COVID management drugs, etc. and losing their lives in many cases have now largely understood the criticality of the situation. As a result, 59% on April 15 and 68% of residents of Delhi surveyed on April 23 were in favour of a lockdown/curfew for at least 1 week. The percentage of residents of Delhi voting in favour of lockdown on April 29 was 75%, which increased to 85% on May 7 and fell to 74% on May 13. Given the daily caseload decrease from 14,000 last week to 6,000 to 8,000 currently, and a decline in test positivity rate in the city from 12-18% to 6-7% during the period, the percentage of residents of Delhi supporting lockdown has further decreased to 68% this week.
Though there has been a decline in the percentage of citizens in favour of extending the lockdown over the past two weeks, the majority of Delhi residents are in favour of extending the lockdown which ends on May 24 to further mitigate and contain the spread. While the decline in daily averages and positivity rates have given citizens hope, the number of fatalities remain high. Mucormycosis or Black Fungus cases have also risen in the city which experts suggest are due to use of excessive use of steroids in COVID treatment or use of impure oxygen in the treatment process. Though the COVID bed situation has improved, shortage of ICU and ventilator beds in top hospitals are still difficult to secure. This week the Department of Science and Technology released new information about COVID advising citizens that current COVID aerosols can carry up to 10 meters and that surface transmission was also happening. The prevalent variant B.1.617.2 which is present in Delhi is the leading subject of COVID scientists and experts globally and so far reported to be highly transmissible. Given this information, it is critical that the risk of spread be further minimized in Delhi before relaxations are introduced. This is the key reason that so many residents are of the view that the lockdown be extended for another week.
Two weeks ago, residents via LocalCircles had demanded that the Government consider re-opening of small businesses in home delivery mode such that business disruption and consumer inconvenience be minimized. In last week’s discussion once again both residents of Delhi and small businesses have reiterated this demand. It is imperative that the Government considers the same as full reopening of activities will be high risk. Similarly, people suggested that all non-essential public places must continue to remain close for the foreseeable future.
LocalCircles has shared the findings of this survey with the Chief Minister, the Office of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the Chief Secretary so as they finalise the way forward on lockdown in Delhi, this collective public feedback is taken into account.
Close to 8,000+ responses were received from residents of Delhi located in all 11 districts of Delhi. 69% respondents were men while 31% respondents were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated Delhi residents who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.