This is the third consecutive day when the daily cases count have stood below the 1500-mark.
In an online briefing, Kejriwal announced that the city government will start the process of lifting the lockdown gradually, while cautioning that whatever gains Delhi has made in the one-and-a-half months of lockdown, cannot be squandered away by lifting the restrictions in one go.
As per the latest health bulletin, 1,141 fresh cases and 139 deaths were recorded on Friday. These new fatalities pushed the death toll from COVID-19 here to 23,951.
On Thursday, 1,072 cases and 117 deaths were recorded, while the positivity rate had dipped to 1.53 per cent. On Friday, the positivity rate stood at 1.59 per cent.
The infection rate had reached 36 per cent in the last week of April, coming down to around 1.5 per cent now.
On May 15, Kejriwal had said, “The virus is reducing in Delhi slowly and steadily, and I hope it diminishes completely and does not rise again. However, we are not going to become negligent in anyway”, while sounding a tone of caution.
On Friday, he said it was time to start the unlock process, but warned that if the coronavirus cases start rising again, “we will have to stop the unlock exercise”, and appealed to people not to step out unless it is absolutely necessary.
Delhi has been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping the country, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with the recent oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals, adding to the woes.
Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22. On May 2, the city registered a record 407 deaths, as per the official data.
However, the number of cases have shown a downward trend and the positivity rate too has been shrinking in the last several days.
The number of deaths reported on Thursday — 117 — was the lowest since April 15 when the national capital had reported 112 fatalities, while the positivity rate (1.52 per cent) was the lowest since March 23, when it had stood at 1.31 per cent, as per official data.
The national capital had recorded 1,491 cases and 130 fatalities on Wednesday, 1,568 cases and 156 deaths on Tuesday, 1,550 cases and 207 fatalities on Monday.
The positivity rate on Monday was 2.52 per cent which has come down to 1.59 per cent on Friday.
A total of 71,853 tests, including 47,917 RT-PCR tests and 23,936 rapid antigen tests, were conducted a day ago, according to the health bulletin on Friday.
The number of cumulative cases on Friday stood at 14,23,690. Over 13.8 lakh patients have recovered from the virus.
The number of active cases decreased to 14,581 on Friday from 16,378 a day before, as per the bulletin.
The number of people under home isolation dipped to 7,111 from 8,247 on Thursday while the number of containment zones dropped to 22,701 from 34,354 a day before, the bulletin said.