Patients and pregnant women, people out to buy essential items, and those travelling to or from railway stations, bus stops and airports will be exempted from the night curfew that kicks in at 11 pm on Monday due to rising COVID-19 cases in Delhi, according to a DDMA order. The restrictions will be in place from 11 pm to 5 am, till further orders, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said.
Those exempted from the curfew also include government officials involved in emergency services, judges and judicial officers, medical personnel, and media persons, the DDMA order said. People going for COVID-19 vaccination will be exempted on production of a valid identity card and a proof of appointment. Students and candidates appearing in recruitment examinations will be allowed too on production of valid identity and admit cards, it said.
People who come under the exempted categories will be required to produce a valid identity card if found outside during the night curfew hours, the order added. Those going to or returning from railway stations, bus stops and airports will be exempted on production of valid tickets.
The DDMA order stated that the status of COVID-19 in the NCT of Delhi was reviewed, and it has been observed that cases of the infection have been increasing rapidly over the last few days and the positivity rate has gone up as well besides a concomitant increase in cases of the new Omicron variant of the virus. "Therefore, it is felt that night curfew needs to be imposed in the territory of NCT of Delhi with immediate effect as an emergency measure for well being and safety of people," it said.
Other categories exempted from the curfew restrictions include the police, home guards and civil defence personnel, fire and emergency services, district administration, pay and accounts office, public transport, NIC, NCC, and the Women and Child Development department. Private medical personnel such as doctors and nursing staff, paramedical and other hospital services such as diagnostic centres, clinics and pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, officials related to functioning of offices of diplomats as well as those holding constitutional posts, government officers involved in conducting academic or recruitment examinations, persons involved in essential activities such as postal services, banks, insurance offices and ATMs, RBI and services designated by the RBI as essential, SEBI and stock market-related offices, and NBFCs will also be exempted.
People running shops dealing in food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk, meat and fish, animal fodder, pharmaceuticals and medicines, ophthalmologists, telecom and internet cable services, petrol pumps, LPG, CNG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets, power generation, transmission and distribution, manufacturing units of essential commodities, aviation and related services will also be exempted, as per the order. Only exempted-category people will be allowed in Metro trains and public transport buses during the night curfew hours, the DDMA order stated.
There will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement for the exempted categories, and transportation of essential and non-essential goods during the night curfew, and no separate permission or e-pass will be required for such movements. District magistrates, their counterpart deputy commissioners of police and all authorities concerned will ensure strict compliance of the order. In case any person is found violating the DDMA instructions, they will be proceeded against as per relevant Disaster Management Act and IPC provisions, the order added.
Delhi recorded 290 COVID-19 cases on Sunday with a positivity rate of 0.55 per cent. As per the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), a 'yellow' alert is sounded if the positivity rate stays at 0.5 per cent on two consecutive days. A number of restrictions, including night curfew, closure of schools and colleges, halved seating capacity in Metro trains and buses, closure of non-essential shops and malls among others, kick in with the 'yellow alert.