Weekend curfew in Delhi goes into effect; Metro 15 minutes away, markets to remain closed; Details here

Delhi’s weekend curfew will come into effect from Friday evening and will continue until 5 a.m. Monday, putting all non-essential activities on hold. The curfew, starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, was imposed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on January 1 following a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that although Delhi is seeing a sharp rise in Covid cases, there is no cause for concern. He further claimed that the hospitalization and death rates are low and asked people to be responsible while assuring them that the government has made all arrangements to meet any medical requirements.

Here’s an overview of what will remain open and closed during the 2-day curfew:

– Metro services will continue to be regulated on weekends (January 15-16) in line with DDMA guidelines, a Delhi Metro official spokesperson has said.

– Subways and public transport buses will operate with full seating capacity during the curfew, but no standing commuters will be allowed.

– Trains will be available at a frequency of 15 minutes on “Yellow Line” – HUDA City Center to Samaypur Badli and “Blue Line” (i.e. Dwarka Sec-21 to NOIDA Electronic City / Vaishali.

– On all other lines, trains will be available at a frequency of 20 minutes during the curfew. E-passes issued last week for essential services will be valid during the curfew.

– Markets will be closed during the curfew, except for those selling essential goods and services such as groceries, vegetables and fruits, medicines, milk, among others.

The nation’s capital, meanwhile, recorded 24,383 Covid-19 cases on Friday, marking a 15.5% drop from yesterday. The positivity rate, however, jumped to 30.64%, indicating that one in three samples taken for coronavirus testing returned a positive report in the past 24 hours. No less than 34 deaths were reported on Friday.

As of Thursday, 28,867 Covid cases were reported, the biggest one-day increase since the start of the pandemic, when the city conducted 98,832 tests. However, Friday’s figure for coronavirus cases came out of 79,578 tests, with a senior government official saying the drop in cases could be due to a drop in testing.

“The low number of tests can be attributed to the change in testing guidelines. In a notice issued earlier this week, the (central) government had said that asymptomatic patients undergoing invasive surgical/non-surgical procedures should not be tested unless there is a need for it or symptoms are developing,” a said the manager.

Active cases in the city stand at 92,273, of which 64,831 are in home isolation. The number of containment zones is 27,531. According to the data, the positivity rate recorded on Friday is the highest since May 1 last year when it was 31.61%. In the past 24 hours, 26,236 Covid-19 patients have also recovered from the virus.

CM Kejriwal said the restrictions, imposed due to the surge in coronavirus cases, will be tightened, if necessary, “but if the corona cases start to come down, we will ease the restrictions”. The government said 2,529 patients are currently in hospital, and no less than 815 patients are on oxygen support, including 99 on ventilators.

(With PTI inputs)

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