India capital Delhi to impose weekend curfew as COVID-19 infections surge

New Delhi: India’s capital New Delhi will go into weekend lockdowns to contain a steep increase in COVID-19 infections, the city’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.

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Shopping malls, gyms, dine-out service at restaurants and some weekly markets will be shut during the weekend and only essential services would remain operational, Kejriwal said.

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Trips to railway stations, hospitals and airports will be allowed as essential services, but shopping malls, gymnasiums, spas and auditoriums must close, he said in a statement. He also said 5,000 hospital beds are available and more capacity is being added, so there was no bed shortage in the capital.

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India reported more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, skyrocketing past 14 million overall.

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In the capital, New Delhi, more than a dozen hotels and wedding banquet halls were ordered to be converted into COVID-19 centers attached to hospitals.

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“The surge is alarming,” said S.K. Sarin, a government health expert in New Delhi.

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The bustle of India’s biggest city and financial capital, Mumbai, ebbed under lockdown-like curbs to curb the spread of the virus. The action imposed by worst-hit Maharashtra state Wednesday night closed most industries, businesses and public places and limits the movement of people for 15 days, but didn’t stop train and air services.

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