DDMA excludes foreclosure; catering services in restaurants likely to be banned | Latest Delhi News


NEW DELHI: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided not to impose a sweeping lockdown in the capital amid rising Covid-19 cases, but said some additional restrictions could go into effect without causing “disadvantage” to the public. Eating facilities at restaurants will likely be banned in the coming days, but take-out will be allowed, sources say.

The decision not to impose containment was taken at a DDMA meeting on Monday.

“All participants at the DDMA meeting agreed that the trends in terms of increased positivity, hospitalizations and deaths were of concern. To mitigate these trends, further restrictions without creating a disadvantage for the population are likely to be imposed. No containment will be imposed, ”a senior official told HT.

Delhi has seen a high number of daily Covid-19 cases – 22,751 day-long infections were reported on Sunday with a 23.5% positivity rate – but with relatively low hospitalization and faster recovery. More than 10,000 people recovered from coronavirus disease on Sunday alone.

In addition, only around 1,800 beds in hospitals dedicated to Covid-19 were occupied on Sunday when the capital had more than 60,000 active cases.

Delhi authorities, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, have called on the public to avoid panicking over the current Covid-19 situation.

The DDMA reviewed the latest situation on Monday and held in-depth discussions with experts, ultimately deciding to go for additional restrictions and not a capital-wide lockdown. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal chaired the DDMA meeting attended by CM Kejriwal, ministers, senior officials and experts.

Delhi reported 17 Covid-related deaths on Sunday – the highest number of deaths in a day since June 16 last year. Delhi’s Covid-19 positivity rate on December 28 was less than 1%. The test positivity rate is now the highest since May 9 of last year, when it peaked at 21.67%.

In the latest wave of Covid, around 20,000 one-day cases were reported in Delhi on May 7. By that time, there had been 341 Covid-related deaths, while 20,000 hospital beds were occupied.

On January 8, Delhi reported 20,000 infections, but there were only seven deaths as 1,500 beds were occupied by Covid-19 patients.

During a briefing on Sunday, Kejriwal said there would be no need for a general lockdown if everyone is wearing a mask. “We don’t want to impose a lockdown and we don’t intend to either. We want the wave to calm down with a minimum of curbs. We don’t want to hamper anybody’s livelihood, ”said the Delhi CM.

Authorities have imposed weekend and nighttime curfews and advised private offices to ensure at least 50% of their staff work from home. All Delhi government employees have been asked to work remotely except those engaged in essential and emergency services, such as firefighters, prisons, water supply and healthcare.

Stores inside malls and markets operate on an odd-even basis between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Currently, catering services in restaurants and bars are limited to 50% of the number of seats on weekdays, and only take-out is allowed on weekends. On weekdays, a weekly market in one area is allowed to open, while local authorities have been urged to take measures to ensure crowd management. Only 20 people are allowed to attend weddings and funerals.

The DDMA also discussed the seating capacity of Delhi Metro trains and buses. Currently, 100% seating in subways and buses is allowed. The DDMA discussed whether the number of seats should be reduced to 50%.

It was also discussed that the economic and travel restrictions imposed on Delhi should also cover the National Capital Region (NCR) to avoid a widespread increase in Covid-19 cases.

The Graduated Response Action Plan sets out four levels of economic restrictions that come into effect at varying rates of positivity. The lowest alert level is classified as a yellow alert, which went into effect when the positivity rate exceeded 0.5% and remained above for two consecutive days. The highest alert level is classified as a red alert, which goes into effect if the 5% positivity rate is exceeded and remains there for two consecutive days.

Experts supported the decision of the DDMA. Dr Jugal Kishore, head of the community medicine department at Safdarjung Hospital, said the drastic restrictions might not bring any additional benefits as existing restrictions, including the weekend curfew, are already in place. designed to restrict the movement of individuals and appear to have helped slow the spread of the disease.

“The poor need work and food. Health services are also affected due to curfews, which can have an effect on the general health of the population, ”said Dr Kishore.

Traders had previously called on the DDMA not to impose more restrictions. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry had written to the DDMA, asking that no further restrictions or lockdowns be imposed.


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