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Omicron surge: States across India impose restrictions, curfews to contain infection spread

While Delhi and Karnataka have imposed weekend curfews in view of the rising Covid-19 cases, states like Punjab and Bihar have put a night curfew in place.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 5, 2022 10:40:25 pm
Vaccination camp for 15 to 18 years children held at Basil School in Tandalja in Vadodara on Thursday. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Amid surge in infections of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, several states across the country have imposed stricter curbs to contain the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, India’s active caseload crossed the 2-lakh mark, with a single-day spike of 58,097 Covid-19 cases. According to the head of the Covid working group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), Dr N K Arora, India is already witnessing the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The rise in cases has been spurred by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus — of which India currently has 2,135 cases, according to the Union Ministry of Health.

Vaccination for kids in progress at a jumbo center at Somaiya Ground in Mumbai’s Sion on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Here’s a look at the restrictions across India:

Delhi-NCR

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Tuesday decided to impose a weekend curfew in the national capital. Only essential movement will be allowed during the curfew. It also decided to implement work from home in all government offices, while private offices will be permitted to function at 50 per cent capacity. Also, the Delhi metro and buses will now allow 100 per cent seat occupancy to avoid crowding at bus stops and stations.

Noida administration has announced a night curfew from Thursday till January 14 in view of the rising Covid-19 cases. The curfew will kick in at 10 pm and continue till 6 am. While gyms and swimming pools will remain closed, restaurants and cinema halls will function at 50 per cent capacity. For weddings, only 100 persons will be allowed inside a closed venue. In an open space, only 50 per cent of the space can be occupied, said officials. Schools will remain shut till further orders. Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday reported 165 cases with no deaths. As per officials, the active cases have crossed 1,100 out of which only 16 are currently admitted in the district hospitals.

Maharashtra

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued modified guidelines for international travellers arriving at the Mumbai Airport. Now, all international passengers will have to undergo rapid RT-PCR tests at the airport. The guidelines came into effect from Monday.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has said if the daily covid-19 cases cross the 20,000-mark, a lockdown will be imposed in the city as per the Union government’s rules. Talking to reporters, Pednekar suggested that citizens wear triple-layer masks while travelling in public buses and local trains. She also appealed to them to get vaccinated at the earliest and follow all Covid-19-related standard operating procedures (SOPs).

In Pune, schools will remain closed for classes 1 to 8 till January 30, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced. He further added that online classes will continue.

A teacher conducts classes online in an empty classroom at Shivashikshan Sanastha in Mumbai’s Sion. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Karnataka

Karnataka will be placed under a weekend lockdown for a period of two weeks, minister R Ashoka said on Tuesday. According to a statement issued by the state government, weekend curfew will be in force from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on following Monday. Revising the existing Covid guidelines, the order stated that night curfew in the state will continue from 10 pm to 5 am. Pubs, clubs, restaurants, bars, hotels, cinema halls, multiplexes, theatres and auditoriums will be allowed to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity.

Tamil Nadu

Amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday ordered fresh curbs which includes state-wide night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am with effect from January 6. A shutdown would be enforced on Sunday (January 9) and only 50 per cent occupancy shall be allowed in buses, suburban trains, and Metrorail, the government said. All government and privately organised harvest festival ‘Pongal’ and cultural events are postponed and entertainment and amusement parks would be shutdown, an official release said. Public would not be allowed in all places of worship on three days – Fridays, Saturday and Sunday- a week. The present bar for social, cultural and political congregations would continue to be in place.

Five districts, including Chennai, accounted for the majority of new coronavirus infections on Tuesday as Tamil Nadu continued to witness a surge with 2,731 fresh cases being reported, pushing the tally to 27,55,587, the health department said. Nine deaths were reported taking the toll to 36,805, a department bulletin said.

Punjab

The Punjab government, meanwhile, has imposed a night curfew in the state from 10 pm to 5 am, excluding essential services. All educational institutes shall remain closed, while online classes will continue. Moreover, bars, cinemas halls, malls, restaurants and spas will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, subject to staff being fully vaccinated.

Among other restrictions, the notification urges people to follow the ‘no mask, no service’ principle — no service shall be provided in government and private offices to the person not wearing proper mask.

Kerala

Kerala, which has been playing a major part in contributing to the Covid-19 caseload of the country, has decided to impose restrictions on the number of participants in public events. In case of events held at closed premises, the attendees would be limited to 75, while the same for open spaces would be 150. The restrictions would be applicable to all events. The decision was taken in a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan which observed that 80 per cent of the eligible population in Kerala have got the second dose of vaccine. The meeting also decided to strengthen the screening of passengers arriving at all airports.

People await Covid vaccination at a centre in Ludhiana. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Chhattisgarh

In case of Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday ordered a ban on rallies, processions and other kind of public events across the state, an official release said. Baghel also ordered a “night clamp-down” from 10 pm to 6 am in the districts where the case positivity rate is 4 per cent and above. The directives to district collectors and superintendents of police (SPs) were issued in the light of a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in the last one week.

Bihar

Bihar on Tuesday imposed fresh curbs as active Covid cases in the state reached 2222 with over 800 cases reported in the last 24 hours. Patna and Gaya are the worst-affected. A statement released by the government said a night curfew will be in force from 10 pm to 5 am. Pre-schools and classes 1 to 8 will remain closed. However, online classes will continue. Educational institutions for classes 9 to 12 will function with 50 per cent capacity. Religious places, malls, cinemas, clubs, swimming pools, stadiums, gyms, parks will also remain closed. These latest restrictions will remain in effect from January 6 to 21.

Haryana

The Haryana government Tuesday restricted the attendance at government offices, boards and corporations to 50 per cent of the total strength. The rest of the employees will work from home, according to a government notification. The fresh set of instructions were issued by the office of Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal.

Odisha

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Odisha government Wednesday issued fresh guidelines effective from 5 am of January 7 till 5 am of February 1. As per the order, schools and colleges shall remain closed during the period, and online mode of teaching would continue for classes 10 and 12. Further, shops can operate everyday from 5 am to 9 pm, while markets and cinema halls will be closed at 9 pm.

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