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Night curfew in Delhi ahead of New Year amid new Covid-19 virus scare

As everyone gets ready for New Year’s Eve celebrations, Delhi Disaster Management Authority today imposed a night curfew in the national capital. No public gatherings would be permitted in Delhi tonight and tomorrow between 11 pm and 6 am to restrict the New Year celebrations.

As per an order signed by Vijay Dev, Chief Secretary of Delhi, no new year celebratory events, congregations, and gatherings at public places will be allowed from 11 pm tonight to 6 am tomorrow and from 11 pm on January 1 to 6 am on January 2. A strict security force has been assigned at popular spots like the India Gate and Cannaught Place. India Gate has been surrounded by heavy police barricades.

NEW DELHI, INDIA – AUGUST 14: A Delhi police personnel places a barricade outside the India Gate on the eve of 74th Independence Day celebrations on August 14, 2020 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

“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 Covid-19 pandemic in 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 a setback to the appreciable gains made in the suppression of chain of transmission of COVID-19 cases in Delhi,” the order read.

Apart from Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan have also imposed night curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

India suspended all flights coming from the UK from midnight of December 23 till January 7 following the detection of the mutated strain of the SARS-CoV-2 in that country. Following this, the Delhi government on Wednesday ordered setting up of isolation facilities at four private hospitals for those who traveled from or transited through the UK between November 25 and December 24 and tested positive for the new strain of the coronavirus.

The Union Health Ministry has asked all states to keep a strict vigil on New Year celebrations that could be potential COVID-19 super-spreader events and also to curb crowding as a precautionary measure during the winter season.

In a letter to states and Union Territories, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated that the number of active COVID-19 cases has been declining steadily in the country for the last three-and-half months.