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Delhi: Highest Covid case spike since December 19, govt bars gatherings on Holi, other festivals

Delhi continues to witness an upward trend of Covid-19 infections, with 1,101 new cases on Tuesday — the highest single-day spike since December 19, when the city had reported 1,139 cases.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
March 24, 2021 1:53:54 am
For the last three consecutive days, the state has been reporting over 2,000 fresh cases of coronavirus.

In the wake of the rising Covid cases in the city, no public gatherings, celebrations and congregations will be allowed during upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e Barat, Navratri in Delhi, stated an order issued by the Delhi government Tuesday.

The capital continues to witness an upward trend of Covid-19 infections, with 1,101 new cases on Tuesday — the highest single-day spike since December 19, when the city had reported 1,139 cases. The daily positivity rate after testing 84,237 people stood at 1.31%, while four deaths took the death toll to 10,967.

“It has been observed that there has been a persistent rise in cases in Delhi during the last fortnight. It is anticipated that gatherings, congregations and public celebrations during upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e -Barat, Navratri, etc, may pose a considerable threat of spread of Covid-19 cases in Delhi. Considering this, it has been decided that public celebrations and all gatherings/congregations during upcoming festivals should not be allowed in public places,” Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev wrote in the order.

The surge in the number of cases is reflected in the rising positivity rate, increasing active cases and the hospital bed occupancy for Covid-19 patients. Over the last one month, the number of active cases in Delhi has increased over three times — from 1,404 on March 1 to 4,411 till Tuesday evening. Active cases represent the number of people currently infected with the disease.

The government order restricts people from organising any public gatherings, failing which the defaulting person(s) shall be proceeded against as per the provisions of sections 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act 2005, Section 188 of IPC and other applicable laws.

“All district magistrates of Delhi and their counterpart district deputy commissioners of police and all authorities concerned shall ensure strict compliance of this order and shall adequately inform and sensitise the field functionaries about these instructions for strict compliance,” the order further stated.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Satyendar Jain Tuesday said the Delhi government has urged the Centre to allow everyone aged above 18 to take the Covid-19 vaccine as such a step will set an example for the entire world.

In another order, the Delhi government has decided to conduct random testing (RAT/RT PCR) of passengers coming from states where cases are surging — at the airport, railway stations, ISBTs and other alighting points for private buses.

“After collection of samples, the travellers would be allowed to exit. However, those passengers who are found positive, shall be mandatorily quarantined/isolated at their place of stay or CCC/CHC/Hospital… for 10 days,” the order stated.

The Delhi government also issued an order on Tuesday directing all district magistrates to intensify enforcement efforts in “super spreader” areas.

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