Delhi sounds ‘yellow alert’, more curbs to kick in as fears over Omicron grow

Published on Dec 28, 2021 02:13 PM IST

The alert was sounded after CM Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the Capital and discussed with top officials whether more curbs needed to be implemented to check rising cases

Policemen patrol during a Covid-induced night curfew at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
Policemen patrol during a Covid-induced night curfew at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
ByAlok K N Mishra

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Tuesday sounded a “yellow alert” under the first phase of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to impose curbs in a phased manner to check the spread of Covid-19. The details of the restrictions will be shared by the government later in the day.

The alert was sounded after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the Capital and discussed with top officials whether more curbs needed to be implemented to check rising cases.

“The curbs explained under GRAP’s yellow alert will be imposed by the local authorities only after the DDMA (Department Of Delhi Disaster Management Authority) issues an order specifying all the curbs and the date from which they will be imposed. Only after the DDMA order is out, the authorities will enforce the restrictions,” said an official, who did not want to be named.

Under the Yellow Alert, only 50% of the seating capacity of a coach is allowed on the Delhi Metro, and passengers are barred from standing. Only two passengers are allowed in cabs and auto and rickshaws. Educational institutions are closed and private offices are permitted only 50% attendance. The alert also provides for the closure of cinemas and gyms while markets can be allowed to operate on an odd-even basis between 8am to 10pm. Restaurants, bars, malls, etc will have to shut by 10 pm. Only one weekly market per zone with 50% of vendors is allowed.

At a press conference, Kejriwal said there is no need to panic because most Covid cases are mild and asymptomatic. “(The) government is more prepared than before to deal with any Covid surge.”

The government earlier imposed a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am and barred all non-essential movement.

Delhi’s Covid positivity rate has been above 0.5% for three consecutive days. As many as 331 cases with 0.68% positivity were reported on Monday, deepening concerns.

The lowest Yellow Alert comes into force when the positivity rate breaches the 0.5% mark and stays above it for two consecutive days. The highest level of alert is classified as Red Alert. It comes into force if the 5% positivity rate is breached and stays above that for two consecutive days.

The number of active cases has now surpassed 1,300. As of Monday, 266 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospitals.

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