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Health workers collecting swab samples from passengers at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal in New Delhi. (ANI)
Health workers collecting swab samples from passengers at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal in New Delhi. (ANI)

Delhi night curfew: HC asks Delhi govt to decide urgently to contain Covid-19

  • A status report has to be submitted by 3 December, the Delhi High Court added after listing the matter for further hearing
  • The HC has also asked the Delhi govt to decide whether other measures are needed to contain coronavirus in the capital territory

The Delhi High Court (HC) has asked the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government to take a call immediately without delay as to whether night curfew should be imposed in the entire national capital or just some parts of it amid a huge Covid-19 surge.

The HC has also asked the Delhi government to decide whether other measures are needed to contain coronavirus in the capital territory.

The remark of the division bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad came after the HC asked the Kejriwal government as to whether it is proposing to follow up the request made to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

"It is now for the Delhi government to take a call on whether night curfew is required to be imposed in Delhi or some parts of Delhi and/or other measures need to be adopted to contain the virus," the HC noted.

The AAP government informed the Delhi HC, during the hearing, that there is no decision yet on imposing some kind of curfews, but it is under "active consideration" depending on the rise in coronavirus infection.

File fresh status report by 3 Dec, HC tells Delhi govt

A status report has to be submitted by 3 December, the court added after listing the matter for further hearing on the said date.

During the hearing the HC also sought from Advocate Anurag Ahulawalia, Centre Government Standing Counsel, to obtain clear instructions from the Union of India, reports news agency ANI.

After getting instructions from the Central Government, Ahulawalia informed the HC that in terms of the new 'Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution', which was issued on 25 November, states and Union Territories can now impose local restrictions with a view of curtailing the spread of coronavirus such as night curfew, on their own assessment of the situation through any imposition of a local lockdown outside the Containment zones in State/District/Sub-Division/City Level will require prior consultation with the Central Government.

The suggested measures, including stricter enforcement of containment zones, staggered offices timings where the weekly positivity rate is over 10%, "Covid-appropriate behaviour" and "night curfew after assessing local conditions", will start on 1 December.

However, the final decision has been left to the states, many of which have been witnessing a fresh upswing in Covid-19 infections.

On Delhi's Covid situation

During the hearing on Thursday, the HC has also asked the Delhi government about the availability of beds in Covid care centers and 33 private hospitals. It also took account of funeral arrangements in Delhi.

The HC directed the Delhi government to take concrete steps to manage the crowd in market area of the city.

The Delhi HC was hearing a petition filed by Rakesh Malhotra seeking directions to conduct large-scale rapid testing in the city for identifying the infected people.

Meanwhile, Delhi on Thursday recorded 5,475 new Covid-19 cases in a span of 24 hours as the number of RT-PCR tests crossed the 28,000 mark, while 91 more fatalities pushed the city's death toll to 8,811.

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