With COVID-19 infections coming down to the lowest level country-wide in nearly two months to 120,529 new cases during the last 24 hours, India’s major cities today announced significant relaxations in lockdowns in New Delhi and Mumbai.
Government and private offices will be allowed to reopen with 50 percent attendance from Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a media briefing. Markets and malls will reopen on an odd-even basis from 10 am to 8 pm. Delhi Metro will operate at 50 percent capacity.
In Mumbai too, offices will only be allowed from Monday to function with 50 percent capacity till 4 pm. The same restriction will apply to restaurants both in occupancy level and timing of service. Fifty persons will be permitted at weddings and 20 at funerals.
Malls and entertainment places, such as theatres, will continue to be locked down, but individual stores may stay open till 4 pm. Local train services will be restricted to those engaged in essential services, but buses may operate at full capacity with no standee passengers.
In Maharashtra state, the government has announced a five-level plan to relax the lockdowns based on the weekly positivity rate and the occupancy of oxygen beds.
Kejriwal said the Delhi government was preparing for the third wave of COVID-19 infections and projecting 37,000 daily cases at its peak. It was making arrangements for beds, ICUs and medicines with that projection in mind.
India’s latest infection figures show less than 200,000 daily new cases for nine days consecutively and a decrease in active cases by 80,745 in the last 24 hours. Such a pattern of decreases over a sustained period has prompted cities like New Delhi and Mumbai to relax restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Both cities had high infection rates during the second wave of COVID-19.