Holi Restrictions, Curbs on Weddings as Delhi Adds 800 Red Zones in 6 Days Amid Covid-19 Surge

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Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said strict action will be taken against those found violating the directions issued for Holi celebrations. He dismissed any possibility of imposing another lockdown in Delhi, saying it was not a solution to check the spread of the coronavirus that is again surging rapidly.

Jain said there was a logic behind the lockdown enforced earlier as nobody knew then how the virus propagates. “It follows a 14-day cycle — between a person catching the infection and recovering from it. Experts said the virus will die if a lockdown is imposed for 21 days,” Jain told reporters.

“Authorities kept on extending the lockdown, but the virus did not die. I don”t think lockdown is a solution,” he said.

There is “no possibility” of imposing another lockdown in the city, Jain said.

Jain's statement comes as the number of containment zones in Delhi reached 1,506, with 800 having been added in the past six days and 200 of these in just the last two days.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority had on Tuesday ordered that there will be no public celebrations in the national capital during upcoming festivals such Holi and Navaratri.

It has also scaled down the number of guests that are allowed at the weddings and other congregations to 100 in closed spaces (50% of the hall capacity) and 200 in the open, Times of India reported. No gathering will be allowed inside the Covid-19 containment zones.

The government has set up a number of teams to ensure that people adhere to its directions on Holi. District magistrates and police have created district-wise teams. Legal action would be taken against violators, he said.

The minister added that there were enough hospital beds available for coronavirus patients and it could be increased if the need arises.

“Only 20 per cent of the beds are occupied currently,” he said.

Around 90,000 tests are being conducted in Delhi every day, which is five times the national average, the minister said, adding that random testing is being done at railway stations and the airport to check people coming from outside.

The minister said a direct correlation can be seen in the changing weather and the increase in the number of cases. “However, it cannot be concretely said that this is the sole reason for the surge in cases.”