Delhi Issues New Curbs As Covid Cases Surge

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In view of the unabated rise in Covid cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Monday ordered the closure of restaurants and bars allowing only ‘take away’ facilities to operate.

Taking to Twitter, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal said that in the wake of the Covid spike, the government has decided to close all restaurants and bars in the city allowing only ‘take away’ facilities. He also informed that only one weekly market in the city will be allowed to operate per day per zone.

Earlier in the day, a meeting was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, where the DDMA discussed ways to strictly enforce existing restrictions to check rising cases of the coronavirus and its Omicron variant, an official told News18. Restrictions pertaining to closing dine-in facilities in restaurants and scaling down seating capacity in Metro trains and buses were also discussed in the meeting.

In the meeting, it was decided that there will be no lockdown in the national capital to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The Delhi government had issued a ‘yellow’ alert under the Covid Graded Response Plan on December 29, under which restaurants could operate at 50 percent capacity between 8 am and 10 pm. However, as Covid-19 cases continued to rise, a weekend curfew was declared last week under which dine-in was not permitted but restaurants could make food deliveries.

On Sunday, the Delhi chief minister had said that the speed at which the coronavirus is spreading in Delhi had been a matter of “deep concern”, yet added there was no plan to impose lockdown. There would be no lockdown if people wear masks, he had stated.

Delhi reported 17 fatalities due to Covid-19 on Sunday, the highest in a day since June 13 last year, and added 22,751 cases to its tally of infections as the positivity rate soared to 23.53 percent. There are 1,800 patients in the Covid dedicated hospitals in the city, according to the data published by the government. Out of these, 182 are Covid suspects while 1,618 are confirmed positive patients, it said.

Delhi has reported 513 Omicron Covid cases since the new strain was first reported in the country in late November. Experts are of the opinion that the rising number of cases triggered by Omicron could put excessive pressure on healthcare infrastructure.

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