Updated: April 13, 2021 6:06:10 am
In light of the recent surge in Covid cases, the Haryana government imposed a night curfew across the state starting Monday night, prohibiting the “movement of individuals for all non-essential activities” between 9 pm and 5 am. The curfew, the order states, “shall remain in force till further orders”.
“…there has been a recent surge in numbers of Covid-19 cases and, therefore, it is imperative to put in place in strict measures of isolation and social distancing to contain the spread of Covid-19 as a lot of non essential movement of people and vehicles during the night has been reported,” states the order.
It adds, “No person shall leave their homes or shall move on foot or by vehicle or travel or stand or roam around on any road or public places during the above said hours.”
Among those exempted from the order are people “tasked with law and order/ emergencies and municipal services/duties”, who will be allowed movement on production of identity cards, and people issued restricted movement curfew passes by authorised officers. People in “bonafide transit” will also be allowed to pass “but only after verification of point of origin and destination”. Pregnant women and patients seeking medical services as well as passengers going to or returning from airport or railway station or ISBT are exempted from the curfew as well. Hospitals, chemist shops, and ATMs will be permitted to operate round the clock, states the order.
“There shall be no curbs on inter-state and intra-state movement of essential and non-essential goods,” states the order.
“Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable.” It adds.
The imposition of curfew came even as Gurgaon, for the second day in a row, recorded more than 1,000 Covid cases Monday, with 1132 people testing positive – the district’s highest single day spike so far.
Data from the daily bulletins released by the district health department indicates that the recent surge in infection has led to the number of active cases in the district almost doubling over the last week. According to the health bulletins, last Sunday, on April 4, the number of active cases in the district was 2,972. By April 11, this figure jumped to 5,549. As of Monday evening, the count of active cases was 6,177.
Of these active cases, 5,889 are in home isolation. However, the demand for hospital beds has seen an increase this month. Despite the Deputy Commissioner early this month directing hospitals to increase the number of beds reserved for Covid patients from 35 per cent to 50 per cent of total bed capacity, beds are filling up fast.
Of the total number of oxygen beds reserved for Covid patients in the district, 20 per cent – 509 out of 2,650 – are currently occupied, up from 267 as of last Monday. Between the 369 ICU beds and the 172 ventilator beds reserved, concerns of availability are with regard to ICU beds, almost 50 per cent of which are occupied. With regard to ventilator beds, less than 30 per cent of the reserved beds – 48 of 172 – are currently occupied. Officials, recognising this fact, say fresh orders will be issued directing hospitals to increase the number of beds reserved for Covid patients this week.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Yash Garg, Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon, said, “We will take stock of the situation today…We are already planning to increase the ratio of ICU beds reserved for Covid patients.”
Data collated from the health bulletins reveals that a total of 5,188 new cases of coronavirus have emerged in Gurgaon last week, a marked increase from the preceding week, when 2,657 cases had emerged. The number of tests conducted has also increased during this period, but not in the same proportion as the number of fresh cases — from 35,698 in the week between March 29 and April 4 to 52,781 tests last week. In the last four days, more than 8,000 tests have been conducted in the district each day. On Monday too, a total of 8,545 tests were done.
The silver lining for Gurgaon, however, lies in the fact that despite the surge in cases since the middle of March, the number of fatalities each week has consistently remained below five. Last week, two fatalities were recorded due to the infection in the district, while in the week prior this figure stood at three.
As the cases surge in the district, the health department and district administration have been emphasising the need for vaccination. In an effort to increase its pace, the Civil Surgeon on Monday flagged off a mobile vaccination van.
“Through this van, we aim to vaccinate at least 100 people everyday,” said Dr Virender Yadav, Civil Surgeon.
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