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As Covid cases rise, Delhi government to LG: Allow us to limit wedding guests to 50, lock down markets that turn hotspots

Covid positivity rate in Delhi has consistently been above 11 per cent for the past two weeks –– crossing 15 per cent on some days. This had fallen to 6 per cent in September.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 19, 2020 12:40:41 am
delhi covid news, delhi covid numbers, coronavirus delhi, kejriwal, delhi wedding guests, delhi markets lockdown, covid updates delhi, indian expressMarkets in Delhi have been witnessing big crowds, with little social distancing. (Express photo: Praveen Khanna)

With Covid-19 cases rising in Delhi, the government wants to withdraw the relaxation given for wedding gatherings and restrict the number of guests to 50, from the 200 allowed since November 1.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision taken by the government has been sent to the Lieutenant Governor for approval.

The government has also written to the Centre to allow local lockdowns in markets which may emerge as Covid hotspots.

“Following the central government’s guidelines and considering the wedding season, the Delhi government allowed 200 guests at wedding functions. Earlier, this number was 50… considering the recent spike in the number of Corona cases, the Delhi government has decided to withdraw this relaxation. I have sent the proposal to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for his approval,” Kejriwal said in a web address on Tuesday.

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Positivity rate in Delhi has consistently been above 11 per cent for the past two weeks –– crossing 15 per cent on some days. This had fallen to 6 per cent in September. Experts were expecting the sharp increase, keeping in mind the festival season.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, meanwhile, Monday said the third wave of cases is coming to an end in the city, a statement he repeated on Tuesday.

Over the past three days, there have been an average of around 3,100 new cases per day, but this is because the number of tests has fallen from around 58,000 per day to around 25,000 per day because of Diwali, Bhai Dooj and the weekend. Testing has been lowest across the country on Sundays.

Of the 225 shopkeepers tested across Tilak Nagar, Raghubir Nagar and Jail Road markets, 41 tested positive last week. Only RT-PCR tests were used, officials said.

Kejriwal said the government has sought permission from the Centre to modify guidelines to shut markets if necessary.

“We witnessed massive crowds in some of the popular markets of Delhi before Diwali. No social distancing was followed and due to this, the number of Covid cases has surged significantly. In the last order passed by the Centre, it was noted that state government cannot impose any lockdowns without permission. We have requested them to permit us to shut down market places if necessary.

I believe that such harsh measures won’t be required, but if a marketplace has become a Corona hotspot, we will have to impose a local lockdown in those areas as a precautionary measure. I have already sent this proposal to the Lieutenant Governor for approval,” Kejriwal said.

Home Minister Amit Shah had held a meeting on Sunday to discuss the Covid situation in the city, where Kejriwal was also present.

On Tuesday, he thanked the Centre for helping Delhi.

“The central government has assured 750 ICU beds to Delhi. This has been a very crucial decision that will help citizens. While assessing the situation of Delhi, I had found there is a scarcity of beds in private hospitals,” Kejriwal said.

He also appealed to people to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

“Some people believe they won’t be affected by Corona, which is a mistake. This disease does not affect people based on whether they are rich or poor. Covid-19 can happen to anyone,” the CM said.

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