New Delhi: Delhi will go into a weekend curfew to “break the chain of transmission” as it tackles a steep rise in Covid cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced today. Essential activities like weddings planned ahead will be allowed with curfew passes.
Auditoriums, malls, gyms and spas will be shut down and cinema theatres will be allowed with a third of the capacity on weekdays. Eating out will be banned and only home deliveries will be allowed. Weekly markets will be allowed but with restrictions.
Calling the wave of new cases deadlier than before, Mr Kejriwal said all gatherings — social, religious or political – stand banned. The number of people at weddings will be limited to 50 and only 20 people will be allowed at funerals.
“These restrictions are for your sake, for you and you families. It will be inconvenient but these restrictions are necessary to break the chain of transmission,” Arvind Kejriwal said in a video address.
तेज़ी से फैलती कोरोना संक्रमण की इस नई लहर और दिल्ली में इसकी वर्तमान स्थिति पर एक महत्वपूर्ण प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेंस | LIVE https://t.co/RB21CQ0jJM
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 15, 2021
He added, “Don’t panic. All essential services will be available through the weekend.”
“I had a meeting with L-G. We have decided to impose weekend curfew in Delhi. This is because people generally go out for work on weekdays and entertainment on weekends. So to break the chain we are imposing a weekend curfew, exempting essential services,” Delhi CM said.
Delhi reported 17,282 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday in the highest single-day surge in the capital since the pandemic erupted. The figure makes Delhi the worst-hit city in the second wave of infections raging through the country. Over 100 deaths were reported yesterday.
Delhi’s rate of people testing positive has climbed to nearly 16 per cent, up from 12.4 percent on Monday.
Before yesterday, the highest single-day spike in Delhi was reported in November — 8,593 cases.
There are 50,736 active cases so far in Delhi.
Across India, Covid cases climbed to a new record of over two lakh infections in 24 hours.
Mr Kejriwal had earlier said a lockdown is not the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus and that it would be enforced only if the “hospital system collapses” in Delhi.
The Delhi government this week linked banquet halls, schools and sports complexes to hospitals to ramp up beds for Covid treatment. Private hospitals have been told to set aside a chunk of beds for virus cases.
According to the Delhi government’s dashboard, of the 15,225 beds for Covid-19 patients in Delhi, 4,816 are currently vacant. In the case of ICU beds, only 545 out of 3,771 are available. However, there are multiple accounts on social media of people complaining that the ground situation is worse than the dashboard data.
“Over 5,000 beds are available and we are trying to add more beds, including those with oxygen support. But cases are rising and the government has taken a few measures. Weekend curfew will be imposed in the city. On weekdays, people go out to earn. During weekends, people mostly go out for entertainment purposes. So, to break the chain of transmission, weekend curbs are being enforced,” Kejriwal said.
Last year, Delhi was under complete lockdown between March 22 and May 18 and after this, the capital reopened in stages.