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Curbs feared to return as Covid positivity rate in Delhi mounts to 0.46 per cent

Curfew From 10 pm To 5 am Will Be Imposed During Yellow, Amber And Orange Alerts. If A 'Red' Alert Is Sounded, There Will Be "Total Curfew".

Curbs feared to return as Covid positivity rate in Delhi mounts to 0.46 per cent
People getting tested for COVID. | PTI Photo
Curbs feared to return as Covid positivity rate in Delhi mounts to 0.46 per cent
outlookindia.com
2021-12-26T22:11:39+05:30

New Delhi, Dec 25 (PTI) Night curfew, closure of schools and colleges, and shops of non-essential items, and halved seating capacity in metro trains is feared to return in Delhi as its Covid positivity rate inched towards 0.5 per cent, the trigger point of yellow alert under the Graded Response Action Plan.

Delhi's Covid case positivity rate mounted to 0.43 per cent on Saturday as the city recorded 249 fresh cases, the highest single-day rise since June 13. The positivity rate was also the highest since June 9 when it was 0.46 per cent. Under the four-stage Graded response Action Plan (GRAP), the 'yellow' alert will kick in if the positivity rate settles at 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days, leading to a host of restrictions. If this alert is sounded, most activities will come to a grinding halt just a few months after the phased reemergence from the April lockdown. GRAP was approved by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority in July in anticipation of a third wave of Covid. It aims to bring in a clearer picture of imposition and lifting of restrictions depending on the Covid situation.

Curfew From 10 pm To 5 am Will Be Imposed During Yellow, Amber And Orange Alerts. If A 'Red' Alert Is Sounded, There Will Be "Total Curfew". The 'Yellow' (level-1) alert will be sounded when the positivity rate crosses 0.5 per cent or new cases increase to 1,500 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 500. The response will involve allowing construction, manufacturing activities and opening of shops of essential goods.

However, shops and establishments of non-essential goods and services, and malls will be allowed to open between 10 am and 8 pm based on the odd-even formula. Only one weekly market per zone with 50 percent of vendors will be allowed to open if the 'yellow' alert is sounded. Restaurants will be permitted with 50 per cent capacity from 8 am to 10 pm while bars can also operate with the same capacity, but from 12 noon to 10 pm. Marriages and funerals will be allowed with 20 people in attendance while all other types of gatherings will be prohibited. 

The Delhi Metro will run at 50 percent seating capacity while auto-rickshaws and cabs can ferry up to two passengers. Busses will ply with only 50 per cent exempted category passengers, according to GRAP. Cinema halls, banquet halls, spas, gyms, outdoor yoga activity,  amusement parks, stadiums, swimming pools, schools and colleges will not be allowed if 'Yellow' alert is sounded. Religious places will be open but without visitors. Parks and gardens can open. Private offices can function with up to 50 per cent of employees. In Delhi government offices also, barring certain categories of officials, only half of the remaining employees will be allowed.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has assured people that his government is prepared to face the third wave. A government official said if the positivity rate settles at 0.5 per cent for two days, the DDMA will issue an order announcing the imposition of GRAP. The response involves restricting economic activities corresponding to the level of alert linked with the severity of the pandemic. Shops and establishments of essential goods and services will be allowed to open during all four levels of alerts.

Following 'Yellow' is the 'Amber' alert. It will come into force if the positivity rate rises above one per cent or new cases number 3,500 or oxygenated bed occupancy reach 700. The response is mostly the same as 'Yellow' except that malls and shops of non-essential goods and services will be allowed to open from 10 am to 6 pm. The Delhi Metro will run at 33 percent of its seating capacity in Amber alert while dining facilities in restaurants will not be allowed, but take away service will continue. 'Orange' alert will kick in if positivity crosses two per cent or new cases reach 9,000 or oxygenated bed occupancy becomes 1,000.

Construction activities will be allowed with onsite labourers. Industrial activities will be restricted except those related to essential commodities and defence production. Malls and weekly markets will be closed. Standalone non-essential shops will open from 10 am to 6 pm.'Red' alert will be sounded if the positivity rate crosses five per cent or new cases rise to 16,000 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 3,000.

Most economic activities will not be permitted under 'Red' alert. Construction activities with onsite labourers and industrial manufacturing of essential commodities, national security and defence-related productions will be allowed. Malls and weekly markets will be closed and standalone non-essential shops will open. GRAP also recommends guidelines for people entering the city, including travellers from states with over five per cent positivity rate and those which have reported mutant strains. For international travellers, Central government guidelines will be followed.

Restrictions will come into force when a 'Red Alert' has been enforced and people arrive by air from states where the positivity rate is over five per cent. The second condition will involve people arriving by air, trains, buses, cars, trucks from states where the positivity rate is over 10 per cent, it says. The third condition for the restrictions is for people from other states where a new mutant of the virus is detected. People arriving in Delhi when GRAP is in force will have to produce a complete vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR report not more than 72 hours old. Those failing to do so will have to stay in a 14-day institutional or paid quarantine. 

-With PTI Inputs

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