New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday announced the imposition of “weekend curfew” in the national capital from April 17 to 18 and the closure of malls, gyms, swimming pools, and auditoriums due to a rapid increase in coronavirus infection.
As per the order, a curfew will be observed this weekend in which only people involved in emergency and essential services will be allowed to move while all public transports, including the metro, will ply as usual.
There will also be no restrictions on the movement of essential and non-essential goods while vegetable, fruit, and grocery shops, petrol and CNG pumps, banks, and ATMs, including other essential service providers, will be allowed to operate.
But, all shopping malls, gymnasiums, spas, auditorium, assembly halls, entertainment parks will remain closed till April 30.
The cinema halls will function at 30 per cent capacity and the restaurants will be allowed to provide only home delivery and takeaways services. Weekly markets will be allowed at one weekly market per-day-per-zone format, the order said.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Kejriwal said, “Our understanding is that people need to travel during weekdays for work and other essential activities, however, weekends are usually reserved for leisure and entertainment activities – activities that in the given situation can be curtailed and restricted…..It is in fact for their safety. We need to break the corona chain.”
“Still we will be making curfew passes and allowing movement. Those who require can apply and we will, in a prompt manner, ensure they are made available,’ he said.
The AAP convenor said there is no dearth of beds in Delhi, as more than 5000 beds are available.
As per the data available on the Delhi government website, till 2100 hrs of Thursday, 4,564 beds in hospitals were available for coronavirus patients while 467 beds are vacant in the ICU for the virus-infected.
The Delhi government has already imposed a night curfew from 2200 hrs to 0500 hrs and certain restrictions like 50 per cent capacity in restaurants and theatres and 50 people in marriages as the Covid-19 cases have been rising rapidly in the city for the past many days.
As per the health bulletin released on Thursday night, as many as 16,699 new cases of COVID-19 and 112 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours.
The city’s positivity rate is 20.22 per cent.