Dining at restaurants may be banned in new Covid curbs in Delhi as the national capital scrambles to contain a frightening surge in new infections over the past few days, sources have told NDTV. Restaurants in the national capital, however, will be allowed home delivery and takeaways, the sources, who were part of a review meeting, said.
The new restrictions will be part of the Graded Response Action plan that has seen the city implementing a weekend curfew last week.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority had called on the meeting amid rise in the number of coronavirus cases and its variant Omicron. During the meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, ways to strictly enforce existing restrictions to check rising cases of the coronavirus and its Omicron variant were also discussed.
The city witnessed a 12 per cent jump in new infections as it added 22,751 cases on Sunday. The positivity rate stood at 23.53 per cent. The city also reported 17 deaths, most Covid deaths in a day since June 16 last year.
There are 1,800 patients in the Covid dedicated hospitals in the city, according to the data published by the government. Out of these, 182 are Covid suspect while 1,618 are confirmed positive patients, it said.
There will be no Covid lockdown in Delhi if people follow protocol - wear face masks in public and maintain social distancing - Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Sunday.
"No need to panic... be responsible. We don't want to enforce a lockdown right now... we want to keep curbs as limited as possible, so the common man is not affected," he said.
The new wave of infections is partly fuelled by the Omicron variant, which is more infectious than the Delta strain. It leads to milder symptoms, but doctors have warned against underestimating it.
Delhi has reported 513 Omicron Covid cases since the new strain was first reported in the country in late November.
Experts say the milder symptoms produced can be offset by the sheer number of cases that will be reported, which could put excessive pressure on healthcare infrastructure.
As part of its efforts to contain the third wave in the city, the Delhi government ordered a weekend curfew that kicked in at 10 pm on Friday and will remain in effect till 5 am Sunday.
During this time only those involved in essential services and those facing an emergency situation were only allowed to leave home. Travellers had to produce e-passes issued by the government or have valid ID cards.
A night curfew - from 10 pm (earlier 11 pm) to 5 am - has already been imposed in the national capital.