Delhi Lockdown: The Arvind Kejriwal government has imposed weekend curfew in Delhi to tide over Covid-19 crisis. Addressing the media here, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal adding that essential services and weddings will not be affected during the weekend curfew. He also assured that there is no dearth of beds in hospitals and that measures are being taken to ensure adequate supply of drugs. He said that the motto is to break the transmission chain.
The city government has also ordered the malls, spas, auditoriums and gyms to shut to check overcrowding at public places. Cinema halls, however, can function with 30 per cent audiences on weekdays. One weekly market per day per municipal zone will be allowed to operate to arrest spread of coronavirus. Besides, only takeaway services will be allowed in restaurants and dine-in operations will remain closed.
The government has asked officials to take stern action against those found flouting Covid-19 protocols. The government has also taken note of shortages of drugs at hospitals and directed concerned officials to ensure adequate supply of required drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
"Restrictions announced today necessary to curb spread of coronavirus in Delhi. Enforcement of COVID norms will be strictly implemented in public places," the Delhi CM said.
"There is no shortage of COVID-19 beds in Delhi hospitals," Kejriwal said. Over 5,000 beds are still available for COVID patients, he said, adding that efforts to increase beds on a large scale will also be made.
He added that weddings will not be affected during the weekend curfew and that e-passes will be given to facilitate movement during weekend curfew.
The decision was taken during a meeting presided over by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal today. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made the proposal to impose a complete lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays.
Earlier this week, Kejriwal had said that lockdown is no solution to slow the spread of coronavirus cases, and that it would be imposed in Delhi only if the "hospital system collapses". Delhi is currently reeling under the fourth wave of COVID-19. The national capital on Wednesday recorded 17,282 fresh cases of Covid-19, the highest single-day surge since the onset of the pandemic, while 104 new fatalities were recorded, pushing the death toll to 11,540. On Tuesday, the national capital had recorded 13,468 cases and 81 deaths due to the infection, giving it the dubious distinction of being the worst-affected city in the county.
The highest single-day spike in Delhi till the third wave of the pandemic -- 8,593 cases -- was reported on November 11 in 2020, while on November 18, the city had recorded 131 COVID-19 deaths, the highest single-day fatality count till date.
Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that cases were rising very rapidly every single day and "there is no slow down" in the spread of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, amid the massive surge in new cases, the city government has issued an order to augment the number of beds reserved for coronavirus patients at its hospitals, and attach banquet halls and hotels to these facilities.
The city government has already announced a seven-hour night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am in the national capital till April 30 to stop the spread of virus.