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Delhi imposes weekend curfew amid rising Covid-19 cases

Delhi imposes weekend curfew amid rising Covid-19 cases

NEW DELHI: The local authorities in Delhi have ordered people to stay home over coming weekends, citing rising COVID-19 cases, with its chief minister saying he had caught the virus just a day after he addressed an election rally without a mask.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who addressed an election rally in the state of Uttarakhand, said on Twitter he had isolated at home with mild symptoms and urged anyone he had been in contact with during recent days to do likewise and get tested for COVID-19.

 

Kejriwal was one of the 37,379 new COVID-19 cases reported in India in the past 24 hours. The daily case load was the highest since early September and experts suspect the highly transmissible Omicron variant has begun to overtake the latest wave, though authorities say hospitalisations have not spiked yet.

Delhi is reporting more than 4,000 new cases a day, and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said though most patients were showing mild or no symptoms and recovering fast, people will have to stay indoors on Saturday and Sundays to rein in the virus.

As per the orders, government offices, barring essential services, in the city will have to implement work from home for employees and private offices will operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Buses and metro will run at full seating capacity to avoid crowding outside metro stations and at bus stops, Delhi deputy chief minister announced.

Mega-rallies last year helped Delta wreak havoc in the country, and with several state elections due in coming months alarm is growing among health experts and the public.

Federal government guidance has been for local authorities to impose movement curbs if more than 5% of COVID-19 tests were positive. Delhi crossed that point on Monday, with 6% of people testing positive.

Since the pandemic first swept into India in January 2020, the country has recorded 34.96 million cases, including 482,017 deaths.

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