In an attempt to curb the surge in Covid cases in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a weekend curfew along with other restrictions.
Malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums will be closed. Restaurants will be open for only takeaways and deliveries, not dining in. Cinema halls will be allowed to operate at 30% capacity. Only one weekly market will be allowed to open per day in a zone and crowd control will be maintained.
Essential services will not be affected during the weekend curfew, which includes weddings. Curfew passes would be provided to those attending weddings.
CM Kejriwal announced these restrictions at an online press conference a day after the capital recorded its highest single-day jump with 17,282 new Covid-19 cases.
The chief minister also said there was no shortage of hospital beds as over 5,000 were still available for Covid-19 patients. However, as part of efforts to increase beds on a large scale, he said that the Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD)-run hospitals, Hindu Rao and Swami Dayanand, should be declared as fully Covid-19 hospitals. “This will lead to an increase of 900 beds for the treatment of patients in Delhi. There should be full cooperation and no politics on the matter. Delhi government will provide every possible help to the MCD hospitals, including funds,” Kejriwal said.
He further appealed to the Centre to increase the bed capacity and make 2,700 beds in Central government hospitals available for the treatment of Covid patients.
CM Kejriwal further directed officials to ensure adequate health infrastructure for the treatment of patients. “Our focus is increasing the bed capacity as much as possible. Government and private hospitals should aim towards linking more banquet halls and facilities, requires time-bound preparation plan.”
He also said no patient should be turned back from the hospitals and patients must be advised appropriate care based on their situation.
“We must issue an order to allow directing patients to our Covid Care Centres (CCCs) to make them feel safe and in the care of the doctors. More and more patients should be shifted to these centres to cater to very critical patients in the hospitals,” a statement quoted the Chief Minister.
He further said that all helpline numbers should remain functional 24×7 and directed hospitals to ensure an adequate flow of information on the real-time availability of beds.
“In the meeting, special focus was laid on the three-tier arrangement of health infrastructure in Delhi, of which first is home isolation, second is Covid Care Centres, and third is an increase in beds and facilities in hospitals in Delhi,” the statement added.
Regarding vaccinations, Kejriwal said that there was a shortage of Remdesivir injections in Delhi, and about 18,000 injections would be made available by April 18. “Realising the gravity of the situation, CM Arvind Kejriwal directed officials to prepare an action plan to ensure that there is no dearth and no stocking of injections at any facility in Delhi,” the statement read.
“Along with this, the current number of ambulances available with the Delhi government is 629, and the current response time is 14 minutes, with no refusals recorded,” it added.