Considering the threat posed by new UK strain of COVID-19, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday imposed a night curfew in the national capital on New Year's eve.
According to DDMA's order, no new year celebratory events, congregations, and gatherings at public places will be permitted from 11 pm of December 31 to 6 am of January 1, and also from 11 pm of January 1 to 6 am of January of 2.
“A detailed assessment of the situation in Delhi has been made and considering the threat posed by the mutant UK strain of Covid-19 virus and after observing the local incidents of the pandemic in GNCT, Delhi, it is apprehended that gatherings, congregations and public celebrations of New Year pose a considerable threat of the spread of the virus and may cause setback to the appreciable gains made in the suppression of chain on transmission of Covid-19 cases in Delhi,” the order issued by the DDMA read.
There will, however, be no restriction on the interstate and intrastate movement of persons and goods during the curfew period. "There shall be no restriction on the interstate and intrastate movement of persons and goods during the curfew period," it added.
With this, Delhi joins the Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan in the imposition of the night curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, officials told news agency PTI that Police and fire unit deployment has been beefed up, traffic regulation planned, and restaurants and bars asked to host not more than 50 percent of their capacity.
Officials said they have also taken several measures to ensure women's safety, and added though breath analyser test will not be used to detect drunken-driving out of precaution against coronavirus, delinquent drivers will be liable for legal action. In order to ensure orderly celebrations, police presence will be strengthened in markets, around malls, five-star hotels, restaurants, pubs, and bars.
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava said that this year, public gatherings will be subjected to coronavirus protocol. "There is a restriction on the number of people who can collect at a point. So these restrictions will be there and the wearing of masks will be mandatory," he told PTI.
"We will be making adequate arrangements at places where people normally like to collect. But one thing would be that all such collection would be subject to COVID-19 protocols," he added.
As many as 677 new COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths were reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 6,24,795, including 5,838 active cases and 6,08,434. A total of 10,523 deaths have been reported here so far.
(Inputs from ANI and PTI)