Delhi shuts private offices amid COVID-19 surge; essential services exempt
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Tuesday tightened curbs in the national capital in view of the COVID-19 situation. All private office employees will work from home, for the time being, however, establishments that provide essential services will be exempted from this restriction. Until now, private offices were allowed to function with 50% physical attendance of staff.
Why does this story matter?
- The decision to impose stricter curbs comes amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in Delhi.
- The city reported over 19,000 new cases on Monday and a daily positivity rate of 25%. Seventeen COVID-19 related deaths were also recorded.
- The new wave of infections is partly fueled by the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, which is said to be highly infectious.
Which private offices are exempt?
Private offices that do not need to follow a 100% work-from-home rule include banks, insurance companies, offices of pharmaceutical companies involved in production and distribution, courier services, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), microfinance institutions, and offices of other companies that provide essential services.
Restaurants and bars also closed
Besides private offices, the DDMA earlier also ordered the closure of all restaurants and bars. Only home delivery and takeaway facilities are allowed. Earlier, restaurants were allowed to operate with 50% of their seating capacity from 8 am to 10 pm. Bars in the city were permitted to open with a similar seating capacity curb from noon to 10 pm.
COVID-19 situation in Delhi
On Monday, Delhi registered 19,166 new COVID-19 cases, marginally lower than Sunday's count of over 22,000. However, the dip may be attributed to lower testing over the weekend. The positivity rate touched a high of 25%, meaning one in every four tests returned positive for the virus. Meanwhile, across India, 1.68 lakh new COVID-19 infections were added on Tuesday morning.
Delhi's cases to peak this week: Minister
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the ongoing wave of infections in Delhi will peak this week. "The peak has already arrived, or will come in a day or two. It will happen this week definitely. Cases should start falling after that," Jain told NDTV.