Delhi has scaled down the number of people allowed at weddings from 200 to 50 amid surge in coronavirus cases.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday spoke about fresh measures to check the spread of the highly infectious virus, which has affected over 4.95 lakh people in the national capital so far. He said his government had sought a go-ahead from the central government to allow it to shut for a few days markets that may emerge as COVID-19 hotspots. He also spoke about reducing the number of people allowed at weddings.
"Delhi had allowed up to 200 people at weddings, in keeping with the Central government guidelines. But now we have decided to go back to the earlier limit of 50 people. I have sent a proposal to the Lieutenant Governor for approval. I hope he gives permission soon," Arvind Kejriwal had said on Tuesday. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has cleared the curbs on wedding-related gatherings, officials said today.
On Tuesday, the national capital logged nearly double the number of fresh coronavirus cases as compared to the previous day. From 3,797 cases on Monday, the city recorded 6,396 cases on Tuesday as the number of tests went up from 30,000 to 49,031. The city has crossed the peak of third Covid wave, the Aam Aadmi Party government said on Monday.
Top medical body ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) is helping Delhi increase its testing capacity to 60,000 tests by November-end. A house-to-house survey is also likely to be conducted soon, the Home Ministry said in a tweet. Ten teams will visit more than 100 private hospitals in the ciy to assess testing capacity and identify extra beds, it said in another post.
ICMR also to help in augmenting capacity by 2,000 tests of existing Delhi labs by deploying more manpower, increasing number of shifts & placing more equipment & thru engagement with pvt sector labs. Aiming to reach testing level of 60,000 RT-PCR tests per day by November end.— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 18, 2020
Lockdown is "not a solution in the fight against Covid-19," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said this afternoon, two days Health Minister Satyendar Jain dismissed speculation and stressed that the city "will not be put under lockdown".
"Delhi government has no intentions of imposing a lockdown. We believe lockdown is not a solution in the fight against COVID19. Solution is - better hospital management and better medical systems. Our government has managed the medical system well, and will do it in future too," Mr Sisodia was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"I'd like to assure shopkeepers... they need not be scared. We want your shops to remain open. If needed, regulations will be increased in some markets - that's what we requested from centre. But it won't be a lockdown in any manner," he added.
Ahead of Diwali last week, visuals showed huge crowds at Delhi markets as government-mandated social distancing rules were violated.
On Sunday, the central government adopted a 12-point plan to tackle coronavirus in Delhi after a meeting between Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. After the meeting, Mr Kejriwal said the centre will make arrangements for 750 hospital beds will all the facilities of Intensive Care Units for Covid patients in Delhi. He thanked the central government for increasing the number of beds in the city on Tuesday.
Planning for house to house survey in Delhi in advanced stage, after Union Home Minister @AmitShah held meeting on Nov 15 on Delhi COVID situation. Survey expected to begin by the weekend and completed by 25 November. @PIB_India@DDNewslive@airnewsalerts— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 18, 2020
MHA constitutes 10 multi-disciplinary teams to visit more than 100 private hospitals in Delhi for assessing bed utilization and testing capacity and to identify extra ICU beds on directions of Union Home Minister @AmitShah. Visits by teams underway. @PIB_India@DDNewslive— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) November 18, 2020
The coronavirus surge in the national capital had started going up at the end of October and started reaching record heights this month. On November 11, the city saw 8,593 new cases, an all-time high. The number of beds in the city had dropped drastically, even reducing to zero in some hospitals.