New Delhi, April 15: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a weekend curfew in the national capital to break the chain of Covid-19 pandemic, which has shown an uptrend for the past few days.
Considering exponential surge in Covid cases, Kejriwal, in a virtual video conference, announced weekend curfew in the city giving relaxation to essential services and upcoming marriages with provisions of providing them certain passes to avoid panic.
Citing that the decision has been taken after a series of meetings conducted since morning -- first with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and then with the Health Minister, Chief Secretary, Health Secretary and other top officials -- Kejriwal said 'it is decided to impose weekend curfew in Delhi to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus'.
"It is unanimously decided to impose weekend curfew because people normally visit outside their homes for entertainment or other activities which can be curtailed. The restriction may not create much problem to the people. The purpose is to break the chain of Covid infection on weekends," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal, however, clarified that essential services like visiting hospitals, railway stations and airports will not be hampered. Besides, the marriages, which are already fixed, will not face any kind of difficulties, he said.
"All such activities will be allowed by providing curfew passes," the Delhi Chief Minister clarified, adding "all such persons can apply passes and they will be provided these passes without any harassment".
Kejriwal further announced that Malls, Gyms, Spas and Auditoriums will be closed during the restrictions, and cinema halls will be allowed to run with 30 per cent capacity.
One weekly market with per day, per zone method will be allowed, Kejriwal said.
"There will be some special provisions for weekly markets to avoid crowds. An order will soon be released regarding the move."
For restaurants, Kejriwal said, "nobody will be allowed to eat there, and only home delivery will be allowed".
"Enforcement will be stricter at all public places and markets so that social distancing and use of masks should be implemented properly," Kejriwal said.
"The restrictions are for you, your lives and your health. I know that these restrictions will create problems, but it will help us in defeating the 4th wave of Corona," the Chief Minister added.
The steps were taken after Delhi logged more than 17,000 fresh cases of coronavirus -- another record high since the pandemic reached the national capital last year -- on Wednesday. The number of fatalities was 104 -- the highest since November 30.