NEW DELHI: Restaurants and bars will remain out of bound for visitors from Tuesday but take-away services continue in Delhi. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which reviewed the Covid situation at its high-level meeting chaired by Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, decided not to go for a blanket lockdown amid rising cases of Covid.
Earlier, restaurants and bars were operating with 50 per cent capacity from 8 am to 10 pm and 12 noon and 10 pm, respectively. Only one weekly market per day will be allowed in a zone as part of measures to check the spread of the virus which logged 19,166 fresh cases and claimed 17 lives yet again
At the meeting which was attended by CM Arvind Kejriwal and ministers Satyendar Jain and Kailash Gahlot, the departments and agencies concerned were advised to adhere to the strategy of 3Ts — Test, Track & Treat — with emphasis on enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour. The DDMA also asked the officers to strictly ensure wearing of masks and adherence to social distancing by citizens in market places and public areas to break the chain of transmission.
“Officials have been advised to exercise vigil and constantly review the emerging data regarding positive cases, bed occupancy, geographical spread, and number of deaths etc for appropriate action and containment measures to effectively tackle the situation,” Baijal said. “The health department has also been advised to make adequate arrangements for additional manpower in hospitals and to scale up the vaccination efforts including those in the population between 15 and 18 years.”
While many were expecting the government to re-impose further restrictions considering the rise in Covid cases and fatalities, the DDMA was of the view that additional curbs could be imposed as per the evolving situation. In its last meeting, the Authority had decided to impose a weekend lockdown. It will be meeting again after eight days to take stock of the Covid situation in Delhi.
Delhi Co-chapter head of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and managing director of Eastman Color Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Dinesh Arora said shutting down the restaurants was better than opening them at 50% capacity. “It has been hard to run business amid these restrictions. The restaurants should be closed at least till January 31 so that things get better and that we can make a profitable comeback.”
Numbers show virus spreading fast and wide
Though new cases were less than Sunday’s, the toll remained the same at 17. Positivity rate was up from 23.53% to 25%. Another worrying sign was the rise in ICU bed occupancy with 443 patients, an increase of 133 from Sunday. Community spread has already taken place, said a doctor