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Omicron covid: Delhi bans X'mas, New Year's Eve gatherings

After a high-level meeting on Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the healthcare services are being ramped up by raising the manpower strength, stocking medicines and arranging enough medical oxygen to face any emerging threat from Omicron covid. A day earlier, the DDMA stated in an order, “All District Magistrates and DCPs shall ensure that no cultural event/gatherings/congregations take place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in the NCT of Delhi.” Delhi recorded 125 new covid cases, the highest in six months, in the last 24 hours. The Capital also tops in Omicron cases.

NEW DELHI, Dec 23: The Delhi Government has banned all gatherings of Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations as part of a fresh dose of restrictions to check the spread of Omicron, the new highly transmissible covid variant, in the Capital, which has accounted for the maximum number of cases of the mutant in the country so far.

“All social/political/sports/entertainment/cultural/religious festival-related gatherings and congregations are prohibited throughout NCT of Delhi," said the order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday.“

It has also directed the District Magistrates to ensure that the restrictions are followed during Christmas and New Year's Eve. “All District Magistrates and DCPs shall ensure that no cultural event/gatherings/congregations take place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in NCT of Delhi,” it stated.

“All restaurants and bars are allowed up to 50% of the seating capacity. Auditoriums/assembly halls are allowed up to 50% of the seating capacity. Marriage related gatherings are permitted with a ceiling of 200 persons. Sports activities in stadiums/sports complexes are permitted only without spectators," it said.

“All district magistrates, in perfect coordination with district DCPs, shall take concerted action in those identified pockets/areas as per the prescribed protocol guidelines/SoPs viz. test, track & treat, prompt & effective containment measures, enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour etc.," it said.

After a high-level meeting on the emerging covid situation on Thursday,Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the healthcare services are being ramped up by raising the manpower strength, stocking medicines and arranging enough medical oxygen. Fifteen oxygen tankers will be delivered in the next three weeks.

The Chief Minister said, “We've created a capacity to conduct 3 lakh tests daily. We can handle 1 lakh cases a day if such a situation arises."

Delhi has recorded 64 Omicron cases so far, the highest among all States. Over 200 cases have been detected in India till Wednesday. The daily covid cases reached 125, the highest in six months, on Thursday. The national Capital has registered a total of 25,102 deaths so far.

Meanwhile, the Centre has asked the States to: Impose night curfews and ban large gatherings; Notify Containment Zones; and, Send all cluster samples to INSACOG labs for genome sequencing.

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