Delhi

Weekend curfew, odd-even rule lifted

The Capital will no longer have a curfew during weekends, shops will be allowed to open without adhering to the odd-even rule, and cinemas, bars and restaurants can operate at 50% of their capacity, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) decided on Thursday.

The DDMA also increased the ceiling of attendees at weddings to 200 and allowed government offices to work at 50% of their strength. Night curfews will remain in place and a decision on opening of schools will be taken up at the next meeting, officials said.

According to government data, COVID claimed over 33 lives per day over a 13-day period, with 438 deaths reported between January 13 and 25. According to sources, officials at the Health Department, who were also present at the DDMA meeting, said as many as 337 deaths were of patients who had tested positive after their admission to hospitals for non-COVID illnesses.

COVID-19 was identified as the cause of death in just 94 cases. Of these 94 patients, only 32 were vaccinated, the officials said during the meeting. They also said genome sequencing of as many as 2,503 samples, analysed between January 1 and 23, led to the detection of the Omicron variant in as many as 1,978 samples.

Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal, who chaired the meeting, which had Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and experts in attendance, said he was in favour of easing the restrictions gradually to avoid the possibility of a sudden surge in COVID infections.

It was also decided that there will be stricter enforcement of COVID appropriate behaviour (CAB) in the city. Sources said that the DDMA would not shy away from taking action against officials deputed to enforce CAB, if the protocol was not strictly enforced, if need be.

“After detailed discussions with experts on the prevalent COVID situation and trends, and their specific inputs thereon, it was decided to gradually ease restrictions and simultaneously enhance the enforcement of COVID appropriate/complaint behaviour with added stress on vaccination,” Mr. Baijal said.

He also directed the agencies concerned to ensure strict enforcement of CAB and to launch an aggressive campaign to reach out to all sections of the society “to effectively communicate the need of strict adherence to COVID protocols”.

The L-G reiterated that the pace of vaccination be enhanced for maximum coverage, especially among the vulnerable sections, to achieve the target of 100% vaccination of the two doses.

The test positivity rate of COVID infections in the city reduced to 9.56% on Thursday from 10.55% a day earlier, according to a government bulletin.

The number of new COVID-19 cases over 24 hours decreased to 4,291 from 7,498 on Tuesday.


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Printable version | May 16, 2022 8:21:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/weekend-curfew-odd-even-rule-lifted/article38336351.ece