Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday joined those state governments who think that the corona virus travels during the night as he declared a night lockdown in India’s national capital.
Under the new guidelines declared by Kejriwal, cinemas, multiplexes and gyms will no longer be allowed to operate but salons, barber shops and parlours can operate without any restrictions.
Private offices with an exception of hospitals, media outlets, banks and telecom services will be allowed to operate with 50% staff.
Restaurants and bars can only operate until 10 PM with 50% seating capacity because after 10 PM coronavirus can strike with vengeance.
The government order says that malls and shops can remain open on an odd-even basis between 10 am and 8 PM. Most malls and shops in and around Delhi close after 8 PM even on normal days. Standalone shops can remain open even after 8 PM since the Kejriwal government thinks that corona doesn’t prefer visiting the crowd gathering outside those shops.
Delhi Metro (underground train service) and interstate buses will also run with 50% seating capacity.
The decision to impose overnight lockdown in Delhi followed other state governments such as Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka doing the same.
The logic to impose lockdown in the night has come under sharp scrutiny. BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Monday had tweeted, “Impose curfew in the night but call lakhs of people in election rallies during the day. This is beyond the understanding of common people. Given the limited healthcare facilities in Uttar Pradesh, we have to seriously decide whether our priority is to stop the spread of Omicron variant or display our electoral might.”
There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that overnight lockdown is effective to stop the spread the virus. What’s, however, established is that fully vaccinated people are less likely to be hospitalised after testing positive for the virus.
Delhi along with Uttar Pradesh was the worst-hit place during the second wave of the virus. Instead of increasing the pace on vaccination drive, the governments in India are simply busy indulging in ticking the box exercise so that they can be seen doing something to fight the pandemic.
It will be interesting to see if Kejriwal can cancel all his election rallies in light of the danger posed by the Omicron variant.