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Delhi Markets May Shut Soon as Kejriwal Sends Relock Proposal to Centre Amid Surging Virus Cases

Shoppers crowd at a market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the old quarter of Delhi, India, November 10, 2020. Picture taken on November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Shoppers crowd at a market ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the old quarter of Delhi, India, November 10, 2020. Picture taken on November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The sudden spike in cases comes amid festive season and rising pollution level. While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, Diwali fell on Saturday and Chhath is on November 20-21.

As Covid-19 cases surge in Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is mulling to shut down markets that have a "potential of becoming hotspots". The Aam Aadmi Party government has sent a proposal in this regard to the Centre.

"We are seeking permission from the central government to close markets if crowds don't decrease, as the shopping areas have potential of becoming Covid-19 hotspots," the chief minister said on Tuesday.

Delhi on Monday recorded 3,797 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 4.89 lakh, even as 99 new fatalities pushed the toll to 7,713, authorities said.

The highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases till date here was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded. Ninety-nine fatalities were recorded, pushing the toll in the national capital to 7,713.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday said there is no chance of reimposition of lockdown in the national capital since the third wave of coronavirus has peaked out in the city.

The sudden spike in cases comes amid festive season and rising pollution level. While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, Diwali fell on Saturday and Chhath is on November 20-21. The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of Covid-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.

According to the Monday bulletin, out of the total number of 16,677 beds in Covid hospitals, 7,728 are vacant. It said that 451 beds in Covid care centres are occupied by persons under quarantine, including travellers who have returned by the Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights.

The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the past few days, with the count on several times crossing the 60,000-mark. The number of tests done per million, as on Sunday was over 2.88 lakh while the total number of tests stood at over 54.7 lakh.

The bulletin said that 4,41,361 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far. Since September, daily cases had begun to rise in the city. From the last week of September, it had stated to come down a bit. The number of people in home isolation dropped to 26,533 on Monday from 27,089 the previous day.


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