India (BBC) – India’s capital Delhi has announced a week-long lockdown after a record spike in cases overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system.
Government offices and essential services, such as hospitals, pharmacies and grocers, will be open during the lockdown which starts on Monday.
The city had imposed a weekend curfew but reported its highest single-day spike so far on Sunday – 24, 462 cases.
India has been reeling from a deadly second wave since the start of April.
“I have always been against lockdowns, but this one will help us amplify the number of hospital beds in Delhi,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a press conference on Monday.
He also appealed to the city’s migrant workers not to leave – last year’s national lockdown saw millions of them heading back to their villages after they found themselves unemployed and running out of money.
“This was a difficult decision to take but we had no other option left,” Mr Kejriwal said. “I know when lockdowns are announced, daily-wage workers suffer and lose their jobs. But I appeal to them to not leave Delhi, it’s a short lockdown and we will take care of you.
- Religious places are allowed to open but cannot accept visitors.
- Only 50 people will be allowed at weddings and up to 20 people at funerals.
- Malls, cinemas, restaurants, public parks, gyms, spas will remain closed during the lockdown.
- All social, political and religious gatherings have been banned.
- Sporting events without spectators are allowed.
- Public transport like buses and the Metro will function with up to 50 per cent seating capacity.
- Students appearing for examinations with valid documents will be allowed to travel.
- Home delivery and takeaway of food by restaurants will be allowed.
- People travelling for Covid-19 vaccinations or testing will be allowed if they have valid documents.