Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday that the Delhi government has decided to impose weekend curfew in the national capital in view of a surge in Covid cases driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
According to him, government employees, barring those engaged in essential services, will be asked to work from home, while private offices will remain open with 50 per cent capacity.
"There will be curfew on Saturdays and Sundays. People are requested to step out only when it is absolutely necessary," he said in a virtual press conference after a meeting of the Disaster Management Authority.
He said the government feared that bus stops and metro stations could become super spreaders as the seating capacity had been halved and long queues were seen at such places.
So, it has been decided to run buses and metro trains on full capacity. But no one can travel without a mask, he said.
There are around 11,000 active cases in Delhi. Only 350 are in hospitals. Of them 124 need oxygen, while seven are on ventilator support, Sisodia said.
On December 28, the DDMA declared a 'yellow alert' after the positivity rate crossed the 0.5 per cent mark, and closed down cinemas and gyms.
It had directed shops of non-essential items to open on an odd-even basis and reduced the seating capacity in metro trains and buses to 50 per cent.
According to the DDMA-approved Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), a positivity rate of more than five per cent for two consecutive days is one of the criteria to declare a 'red alert' which means a 'total curfew' and halting of most economic activities in the capital.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain have said most cases this time are mild or symptomatic and do not need medical care in hospitals.
Jain had said the Omicron variant of coronavirus is behind the surge in infections in the city and more restrictions will be implemented if bed occupancy rate goes up.
Delhi on Monday reported 4,099 fresh COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate spiraled to 6.46 per cent, with Jain saying the Omicron variant of coronavirus is behind the surge in infections in the city and more restrictions will be implemented if the bed occupancy rate goes up.