Delhi will go into a weekend curfew to tackle a record rise in Covid cases over the past few weeks. Essential activities, including weddings planned already, will be allowed with curfew passes.
Auditoriums, malls, gyms and spas will be shut down and cinema theatres will be allowed with a third of the capacity.
Eating out will be closed and only home deliveries will be allowed. Weekend markets will be allowed but with restrictions.
“These restrictions are for your sake. It will be inconvenient but these restrictions are necessary to break the chain of transmission,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a video address.
Mr Kejriwal made the announcements after meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and top officials earlier today.
Delhi reported 17,282 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday in the highest single-day surge in the capital since the pandemic erupted. The figure makes Delhi the worst-hit city in the second wave of infections raging through the country.
Over 100 deaths were reported yesterday.
Delhi’s rate of people testing positive has climbed to nearly 16 per cent, up from 12.4 percent on Monday.
Before yesterday, the highest single-day spike in Delhi was reported in November — 8,593 cases.
There are 50,736 active cases so far in Delhi.
Mr Kejriwal had earlier said a lockdown is not the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus and that it would be enforced only if the “hospital system collapses” in Delhi.
The gravity of the crisis is visible at Delhi’s biggest crematorium, Nigambodh Ghat, where the number of cremations has gone up from 15 per day to over 30.
Doctors say the death count is high because people are reporting to hospitals “at the very late stage.” However, many queuing up at Delhi hospitals complained that hospital beds were in short supply.
The Delhi government this week attached banquet halls, schools and sports complexes to hospitals in a move to ramp up beds for treatment. Private hospitals have already been told to set aside a chunk of beds for Covid patients.