Weddings in the capital can now host up to 200 persons — up from 50 guests — according to an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Saturday. “In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitiser will be mandatory,” said the order.
With the city reporting 5,062 cases from 44,330 tests in the last 24 hours, the daily positivity rate saw a jump from Friday’s 9.88% to 11.42%. The death toll also increased to 6,511, with 41 deaths being reported.
Starting Sunday, public buses in the capital have been allowed to run with full seating capacity, while Metro services will continue to operate with seating restrictions. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted: “No one will be allowed to travel standing. Wearing masks will be mandatory and I also appeal to passengers to maintain social distancing.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain attributed the recent spurt in cases to laxity among people regarding masks, which, he said, should be treated as the biggest shield against the virus until the introduction of any vaccine. His appeal to wear masks comes amid the public thronging markets ahead of Diwali.
“There are a few reasons behind the spike, including festive season, fall in temperature, rising pollution levels and a general sense of fatigue among people. People must consider masks as the only vaccine till the actual vaccine comes. Many disregard advice to wear masks, saying they are immune to the virus. But they must realise their act might put vulnerable groups such as senior citizens at risk,” Jain told reporters.
Asked if the government was mulling enforcing another round of restrictions, Jain said the learnings from previous rounds of lockdown demonstrate that the transmission cannot be curbed through such measures as there has been a community spread of the virus.
“Wearing masks can prevent transmission and will also shield people from pollution,” he said, expressing hope that the vaccine will be introduced in another “two-three months”.
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