Covid-19 weekend curfews: Cities wear deserted look, businesses bear the brunt
Across the nation, markets which started to see some footfall after the first wave of Covid-19 receded in the country wore a deserted look as strict curfews were imposed to address the surge of fresh Covid-19 cases.
Several cities across the country are witnessing the second day of the weekend curfew on Sunday. Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bhopal, Lucknow and other cities, which have witnessed a surge in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), imposed weekend curfew or imposed lockdown like restrictions to bring down the rising infections.
Most of the shops, barring those selling essential items, medicines, vegetable and fruit vendors, remained closed. Pictures released by news agency ANI of markets in Bhopal and Chandigarh showed bustling complexes wearing a deserted look due to the weekend curfew. Madhya Pradesh, which imposed a coronavirus curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19, extended its duration to April 26. Indore extended the duration of its partial lockdown till April 23. The state recorded its highest single-day surge since the onset of the pandemic on Saturday with 11,269 cases pushing the state's Covid-19 tally to 395,832.
The Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a lockdown across the state on all Sundays across all rural and urban areas. The state government has said that the imposition of Sunday lockdown will be implemented till May 15 every Sunday and violators will face strict punishment. Uttar Pradesh also joined Maharashtra and neighbours Delhi and Madhya Pradesh as it recorded 27,357 fresh Covid-19 cases raising the state's Covid-19 tally to 821,054.
Delhi, which enters Day 2 of its weekend curfew, saw strict imposition as police cracked down on violators. Delhi Police arrested more than 150 people and registered close to 500 FIRs on Saturday. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said stricter curbs and more weekend lockdowns could be imposed if Covid-19 cases continue to spike.
While Delhi registered its highest number of cases recorded in a period of 24 hours since the onset of the pandemic with 24,375 new Covid-19 cases pushing the tally in the Capital to 827,998, financial hub Mumbai recorded a marginal spike in the number of cases 8,811 new cases taking the tally to 571,018.
The imposition of Section 144 in the entire state of Maharashtra led to deserted streets in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Pune and Mumbai have the highest number of active cases among the districts in the state. Pune is also among one of the worst-hit urban areas in the world.
Curfews and measures similar to lockdowns in India’s cities have also come at a cost for people involved in the hospitality sector. Several restaurateurs across the country’s major cities highlighted the loss of business due to these measures. Despite home deliveries being allowed, several restaurants said they witnessed a sharp fall in orders on Saturday.