Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
India's capital has announced the end of all the remaining coronavirus restrictions after government data showed cases of the recent Omicron variant had fallen.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) decided to lift all Covid-related restrictions in the national capital, including the night curfew and 50 per cent capacity rule at restaurants and bars from Monday.
The country recorded 11,499 new daily cases and 255 deaths, according to the health ministry's latest statistics on Saturday, a tiny fraction of those seen during the devastating peak last year.
As per the new DDMA guidelines, all online classes will be discontinued from April 1 in the city in view of the declining Covid trends. Schools have to do away with the hybrid mode from April 1. All restrictions are likely to be lifted from April 1.
The decision was taken in a meeting of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
"DDMA withdraws all restrictions as situation improves n people facing hardships due to loss of jobs. Schools to function fully offline from 1 Apr. Fines for not wearing masks reduced to Rs 500. All shud continue following Covid Appropriate Behaviour. Govt will keep strict watch", said Kejriwal in a tweet.
Local officials in the Delhi region, which recorded 460 cases and two deaths Friday, decided to lift a night curfew and allow restaurants to operate at full capacity.
Places of religious worship were also permitted to reopen.
Schools will function fully offline from April 1 while fines for not wearing masks were also reduced.
India was battered by a devastating Covid outbreak last year.
The fine for not wearing the face mask has also been reduced to 500 in the city. However, all these restrictions are subject to Covid positivity rate remaining below 1 per cent. The government will continue to keep watch on the Covid appropriate behaviour and surveillance on testing and vaccination.
The area's disaster management authority "withdraws all restrictions as situation improves" and because people were "facing hardships due to loss of jobs", Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Twitter.
India was battered by a devastating Covid outbreak last year that saw 200,000 people killed in a matter of weeks, overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums.
Since the outbreak in 2020, India has officially recorded 42,905,844 cases and 513,481 deaths, third behind only the US and Brazil.
The city government estimates it will have 550,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of July, and will require 150,000 beds by then. Cases are expected to keep rising as state governments ease restrictions in place since lockdown was first imposed in late March.
India has opened up businesses, public transport and shopping malls to resuscitate a battered economy but the ending of the nearly 70-day lockdown has come just as cases are rising at their fastest daily levels.
India’s health ministry on Monday reported 14,821 new cases and about 300 new deaths, bring the toll of fatalities up to more than 13,000. The coastal state of Goa reported its first COVID-19 death.
The recoveries outnumber the new cases. In the last 24 hours, the country witnessed the recoveries were 52,299. The receding trend of fresh cases continued as stadiums, sports complexes were allowed to open in Delhi with no spectators.
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