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Yellow alert in Delhi: Schools, colleges, cinema halls shut; curfew from 10 pm

The "yellow alert" is issued when the city sees a positivity rate of over 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days, or cases cross 1,500 in a week, or average occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals remains 500 for a week.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 29, 2021 2:03:18 am
Delhi coronavirus cases Today Live Update, News Delhi Pollution LiveA crowded market in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

WITH DELHI reporting a positivity rate of over 0.5 per cent since Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared a “yellow alert” on Tuesday. Under the new restrictions, all educational institutions, cinema halls and gyms will remain closed, wedding and funeral gatherings will be capped at 20, and Metro trains, buses and restaurants will operate at 50 per cent seating capacity.

The restrictions are as per the Covid Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) notified by the government in August this year, according to which different restrictions will come into force if cases, positivity rate or hospitalisations increase beyond certain limits.

The “yellow alert” is issued when the city sees a positivity rate of over 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days, or cases cross 1,500 in a week, or average occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals remains 500 for a week.

Delhi reported a positivity rate of 0.55 per cent on Sunday, 0.68 per cent on Monday and 0.89 per cent on Tuesday; 496 new cases were reported on Tuesday.

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“Over the past few days, cases have been going up, but there is no need to worry and panic. We are mostly seeing mild and asymptomatic cases, for which hospitalisation is not needed. Most patients admitted in hospitals don’t need oxygen or ICUs. But we don’t want the disease to spread… We had earlier notified GRAP to deal with an increase in cases. It was drawn up in a scientific manner and will aid simpler implementation,” Kejriwal said.

As per the plan, shops in markets and malls dealing with non-essential goods and services will be allowed to open as per the odd-even formula between 10 am to 8 pm, while one weekly market will be allowed per municipal zone at half the capacity of vendors. Shops selling essential items will remain open on all days. Night curfew will be in place between 10 pm and 5 am.

Restaurants will operate at 50 per cent capacity between 8 am and 10 pm; bars will open from noon to 10 pm at 50 per cent capacity; schools, educational institutions, cinema halls, banquet halls, auditoriums, spas, gyms and entertainment parks will remain shut.

Delhi Metro and buses will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity. While the Delhi government offices will call 100% Grade I officers, private firms will be allowed to call 50 per cent staff between 9 am and 5 pm. There will be a complete ban on social/ entertainment/ religious/ political/ festival-related gatherings. Sports complexes, stadiums (except for national/ international sports events) and entertainment parks will be closed.

While the gatherings at weddings and funerals will be limited to 20 people, banquet halls will not be allowed to host weddings.

Kejriwal also said that the government will be forced to close markets if crowding continues and Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed. “We are 10 times more prepared than last time. But we do not want any of you to fall ill. That is why we appeal to you to wear masks, we have to be responsible. We are disheartened when we see crowding at markets and malls. We will have to shut down markets if this continues. None of us wants that. If you won’t take care of yourselves, who will? We don’t want you to fall ill. These restrictions are being imposed for you. I know you all are tired of restrictions, but it is important and there is nothing we can do about it,” he said.

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