Weekend curfew in Delhi to check Covid surge
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a weekend curfew on Thursday to stem the surge in Covid cases in the national capital that touched a new daily high on Tuesday.
After meetings with lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and cabinet colleagues, Kejriwal said in a webcast onThursday that total curfew would be in place from 10pm on Friday to 5am on Monday.
“Malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums will be closed. Cinema halls will run at 30 per cent capacity. Weekly markets will be allowed in per-day-per-zone format. We will also monitor crowds at weekly markets and release guidelines pertaining to this as well. Dining at restaurants will no longer be allowed. One can avail of home delivery and takeaways for now,” Kejriwal said.
He said those who needed to undertake important travel could apply for curfew passes.
“Even on the weekend, we understand that there might be important travel that one needs to undertake. For instance, people working in the essential services, people going to the airports, railway stations, marriages that have been planned and arrangements made months in advance. For this, we will be giving out curfew passes and allowing movement. Those who need can apply and we will, in a prompt manner, ensure they are made available,” Kejriwal added.
Till the filing of this report, the government didn’t clarify if existing night curfew passes would be valid for the weekend.
On Tuesday, 17,282 cases were recorded in the capital along with 104 deaths. The Covid-positive rate stood at 15.92 per cent and there are 50,736 declared Covid patients in the capital.
Essential services that include several categories of government staff, medical personnel, production, processing and sale of food, medical consumables, fuel, power, communication facilities, e-commerce deliveries, banking, passengers to and from stations, bus terminuses, airport, journalists, diplomats, those seeking medical help and public transport ferrying the above categories of people are exempt from the curfew.
Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed 50 people to offer namaz five times a day at Nizamuddin Markaz during Ramazan, saying there is no direction in the Delhi Disaster Management Authority notification to close down places of worship.
The court also noted that there was “no clear stand” of the central government as to whether religious congregations or gatherings were permitted in other places of worship.