International Desk: The national capital will shut down on weekends starting this Friday, the Delhi government announced. Restaurants, shopping malls and auditoriums will remain closed till further orders, even on weekdays, it added.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said stringent curbs have been reinstated to arrest the spread of Covid-19, which has put medical infrastructure and healthcare workers under tremendous strain.
Gyms and spas will also remain shut, while cinema halls will be allowed to open with 30 per cent capacity.
Home delivery and takeaway services will be allowed, and the movement of members of families that have marriages scheduled in the coming weekends will be allowed, Kejriwal said. People attached with essential services have been kept out of the ambit of the curbs, the CM added.
Only one weekly market per day per zone will be allowed, Kejriwal said, adding that specific rules will soon be issued for the same.
Last year, Delhi was under complete lockdown between March 22 and May 18. Beginning May 19, the city reopened in phases.
The decision to bring back the curbs was taken at a meeting attended by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and top officials of the Delhi administration. Kejriwal had earlier announced that he was not in favour of a lockdown, but would have no option but to impose it if hospitals start running out of beds.
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.
Source : The Indian Express