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Indian capital to lift weekend curfew as COVID cases fall

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2022-01-21 13:31:11 BdST

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Indian soldiers take part in the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a cold winter morning, in New Delhi, India, Jan 18, 2022. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/File

India's capital is set to lift a weekend curfew and allow private offices to be partially staffed after a fall in new COVID-19 infections, a city government official said on Friday.

The number of new cases in Delhi has more than halved from a peak of 28,867 on Jan 13 and more than 80% of COVID beds across the city's hospitals were unoccupied, according to government data.

"In view of the declining cases of coronavirus, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the proposal," the official, who declined to be identified, said of a suggestion from authorities that the weekend curfew be scrapped.

The city's lieutenant governor, who must sign off on the city government's executive decisions, was expected to review the proposal and clear the way for its formal approval later on Friday.

Delhi has been one of the centres of India's coronavirus pandemic for the past two years and has endured various lockdowns and curfews over different waves of infection.

The city imposed the curfew on Jan 4 and ordered schools and restaurants to close as infections caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant surged.

It was not clear if those curbs and a night curfew on weekdays would also be scrapped.

Frustrated Delhi shopkeepers protested on the streets this week, demanding that curbs be lifted.

City officials have said most recent coronavirus infections have been mild with most people recovering at home.

The financial hub of Mumbai has also been reporting big falls in infections since hitting a peak earlier in the month.