Corona: Delhi May be Heading for Another Round of Area-Specific Lockdown

NEW DELHI, Nov 17: Delhi may be heading for another round of lockdown, possibly in localized areas and may be for shorter duration, as the COVID-19 cases shot up in the national capital.

The chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government had sought the centre’s permission to imposed lockdown to allow the state government to temporarily close markets identified as potential Corona hot spots due to rampant violation of social distancing and other COVID-19 related regulations. As per the latest guidelines of the Union Home Ministry, states need its permission to impose any restrictions or local lockdown.

The Delhi government has already withdrawn the earlier notifications allowing attendance in marriage ceremonies to 200. Due to the withdrawal of the notification, the wedding attendees would effectively come down to 50 as was the norm during the initial period of the Corona spread.

Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that “The government has decided to withdraw its order relaxing the cap on the number of wedding attendees, which would effectively bring back the number to 50,” He pointed out that the Delhi government would need the “approval of lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal, who is the chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority,” for any further restrictions.

“A few weeks ago, when the Covid-19 situation had improved, the cap on gatherings in marriages was relaxed – from 50 to 200 individuals. The government has decided to withdraw the order, and bring back the limit on the size of wedding-related gatherings from 200 to 50. The proposal has been sent for L-G’s approval today,” Kejriwal told the media.

Thanking the central government for releasing 750 ICU beds for the Delhi Corona patients, Kejriwal said due to the additional beds the shortage of ICU beds could be overcome. Giving statistics, he said with the 750 additional beds, the total availability of ICU beds had gone up to 3,564 of which 3,145 beds were presently occupied. “With this there is no crisis of hospital beds in Delhi, though the occupancy in the private hospitals was usually high,” he said.

(Vinayak Barot)