Delhi's weekend curfew to stay as L-G rejects government's plan
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday rejected several recommendations sent by the city government in view of the declining COVID-19 cases. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led administration had proposed lifting of the weekend curfew and removal of odd-even restrictions on shops and commercial establishments. Daily COVID-19 infections in the national capital have been decreasing, though the number of active cases remains high.
- Earlier in the day, the Delhi government had communicated to the L-G it wanted to ease coronavirus-related curbs.
- The proposed relaxations included allowing shops to remain open on all days.
- The city has, in recent days, seen a drop in its daily coronavirus cases and test positivity rate after touching a peak of nearly 30,000 new infections on January 14.
On Friday, Baijal said the existing restrictions should remain in force until the COVID-19 situation further improves. The L-G, however, accepted the government's suggestion that private offices be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. To recall, the odd-even curb on shops and malls in Delhi was imposed on January 1 while the weekend curfew had kicked in from January 7.
The Delhi government had sent the proposal days after several trade unions and market associations held a protest against the odd-even rule. They said shopkeepers were suffering financially and many employees were losing their jobs. Now, a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) is expected to be chaired next week. The authority will then take the final call on lifting of curbs.
On Thursday, Delhi reported 12,306 new coronavirus cases—a dip of over 10% from the previous day's count. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said under 11,000 cases are expected on Friday, with positivity rate around 18%. The city currently has nearly 70,000 COVID-19 patients, of which over 53,000 are in home isolation. Across India, over 3.47 lakh new cases were added on Friday.