Delhi lifts weekend curfew, other curbs as COVID-19 cases dip
The government of Delhi on Thursday decided to lift various coronavirus-related curbs as the pandemic situation improves in the national capital. As part of the relaxations, the weekend curfew, as well as the odd-even restrictions for shops and commercial establishments, have been done away with. Schools, however, will remain closed and a decision on reopening them will be taken later.
Why does this story matter?
The government's decision comes amid the decrease in the number of coronavirus cases and the positivity rate. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the COVID-19 situation in the city is now "under control." The city is expected to report under 5,000 infections and a positivity rate below 10%. At the peak of the current wave, Delhi had recorded nearly 30,000 infections, on January 14.
Decision comes after key meeting
Thursday's announcement was made after a meeting between Delhi government officials and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Besides the aforementioned relaxations, the maximum number of guests at weddings has been increased from 50 to 200. Bars, restaurants, and cinema halls can now operate with 50% seating capacity. Government offices have also been allowed to open with 50% staff.
Some restrictions will continue for now
However, several restrictions will continue to be in place. For instance, the night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am, which has been in force since December, will remain. Further, a decision on the reopening of schools is likely to be taken next week. Sources told the media that schools are expected to be open in a phased manner in the coming days.
COVID-19 situation in Delhi and across India
On Wednesday, Delhi saw 7,498 fresh COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 10.59%. Active cases in the city stood at 38,315 as of Wednesday. Meanwhile, across India, more than 2.86 lakh new cases were added on Thursday morning and the positivity rate climbed to nearly 20%. The country has so far administered over 163.84 crore coronavirus vaccine doses to the eligible population.