Indian capital removes curfew over the weekend as Omicron wave slows | Coronavirus pandemic news

Delhi is also allowing restaurants and markets to reopen following a sharp drop in new COVID-19 infections.

The Indian capital, Delhi, lifted its curfew over the weekend and allowed restaurants and markets to reopen after a sharp drop in new COVID-19 infections.

However, according to the new orders, the city will remain under curfew at night and schools will be closed, a senior official in Delhi said, as government figures show that the recent Omicron epidemic in India has slowed.

Restaurants, bars and cinemas in Delhi will be able to operate at up to 50 percent capacity, and the number of people at weddings will be limited to 200.

“In view of the decline in positive cases, it was decided to gradually ease the restrictions by ensuring that COVID’s proper conduct is respected,” said Delhi Vice Governor Anil Bajjal, who represents the federal government.

The number of new cases in Delhi fell to 4,291 on January 27 from a peak of 28,867 on January 13. More than 85 percent of COVID beds in the city’s hospitals were unoccupied, government figures show.

“Hospitalization is much, much lower than we saw in the previous wave,” said Dr. Desh Deepak, a senior physician at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia State Hospital in Delhi.

“Most of the patients who died had underlying conditions such as cancer or kidney disease, and most were not fully vaccinated.

A worker walks past empty oxygen cylinders in front of a COVID-19 care center at an indoor sports complex in New Delhi, India, on January 5, 2022.Worker walks past empty oxygen cylinders in front of COVID-19 care center in New Delhi [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

Last week, authorities eased some curbs by allowing private offices to be partially rented, but advised people to work from home as much as possible.

The capital was one of the hardest hit in the ongoing third wave, led by the highly contagious version of the Omicron coronavirus, and the city government imposed a curfew on January 4 and ordered schools and restaurants closed.

India reported 251,209 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours on Friday, bringing the total to 40.62 million, the health ministry said. The number of deaths increased by 627 and the total number of deaths was 492,327.

Late Thursday, the federal interior ministry called on the states to remain vigilant and said it was concerned that 407 districts in 34 states and union territories reported an infection rate of more than 10 percent, Interior Minister Ajay Bhala told them in a letter.

“In the last five to seven days, there have been early indications of payments for COVID cases … but we need to monitor and take precautionary measures,” Health Ministry spokesman Love Agarwal told a news conference on Thursday.

India was hit by the devastating outbreak of COVID last year, which killed 200,000 people in a matter of weeks, huge hospitals and crematoria.

Since then, the country has administered more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine and expanded its incentive to vaccinate teenagers, while giving booster vaccines to vulnerable people and front-line workers.

The current wave of the pandemic comes weeks before elections to five states, including Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and home to 220 million people.

Electoral authorities have restricted public rallies, usually crowded with huge crowds, for fear they could spread the virus.

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