Covid restrictions in Delhi will be lifted soon, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. Some traders had met him last week and requested that weekend curfews - from 10 pm on Fridays to 5 am on Mondays - and the odd-even rule for the opening of shops be lifted, he said. The capital will record a 10 per cent infection rate today, he added. The maximum was 30 per cent, on January 15.
"When Covid cases rise, we are forced to impose restrictions and people face difficulties. We only bring in restrictions that are needed," Mr Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that he had sent proposals to lift restrictions to the Lieutenant Governor but he did not accept it. "We will together lift the restrictions soon," he added.
In Delhi, 100% of people have got the first dose and 82% of people have received both doses of the Covid vaccine, Mr Kejriwal said.
The Delhi government had on Friday recommended the lifting of weekend curfews in the national capital in view of declining Covid cases. The file was forwarded to the office of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for his approval but was rejected.
The office of the Lieutenant Governor had said that a decision on lifting the weekend curfew will be taken once the pandemic situation improves further. He had also vetoed the recommendation to withdraw the odd-even rule of opening shops in markets.
Delhi saw a significant drop in daily cases yesterday. 5,760 fresh infections were recorded, 37 per cent lower than Sunday (9,197). The positivity rate fell to 11.79 per cent from 13.3 per cent in the same period.
To encourage testing and rapid identification of Covid cases, the Delhi government has also reduced rates of RT-PCR tests and RAT, or rapid antigen tests. The former is capped at Rs 300 per test (down from Rs 500) with home collection tests at Rs 500, and the latter at Rs 100 (down from Rs 300).
India today recorded 2,55,874 new coronavirus cases, 16.39 per cent lower than Monday's figure of 3.06 lakh cases. During the same period, the country reported 614 virus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,89,848.