A health worker places a swab sample vial in a box after a Covid-19 RT-PCR test on the side of the road in New Delhi, India on April 5. Naveen Sharma / SOPA Images / Shutterstock
India’s Delhi union area, home to the capital New Delhi, has imposed an immediate curfew as coronavirus cases increase, the region’s government has announced.
The curfew lasts daily between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time until April 30. During this time, any public movement is prohibited.
Only those involved in essential services, including medical staff, media staff, and key delivery couriers, are allowed to travel overnight.
Delhi union territory reported 3,548 new cases of the virus on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 679,962. The cases have each exceeded 3,500 in the past four days.
India has suffered a new wave of coronavirus infections, reporting more than 90,000 cases a day for the past three days – similar to the case load the country saw at the height of its first wave in September last year.
Delhi has taken a number of steps to promote testing and vaccination to combat the spread. On Monday, hospitals began running a third of their vaccination centers around the clock.
“Those who wish to receive the vaccine during curfew can do so. All they need to do is get an e-passport before commuting during curfew,” Rajat Tiwari, secretary of the Delhi health minister, told CNN Monday.
The Delhi Prime Minister also wrote to the Prime Minister on Monday to lift the age limit on vaccine distribution, which is currently 45 years and over.
Since the pandemic began, India has reported more than 12.6 million Covid-19 cases and more than 165,000 deaths. More than 83 million doses of vaccine have been distributed, according to the Indian Ministry of Health.