As cases continued to climb, with 1,79,723 new infections recorded, some states implemented further restrictions to stem the COVID-19 outbreak, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi evaluated the issue at a high-level conference on Sunday.
Most states and Union Territories, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, have already announced night curfew and other covid-19 restrictions in the wake of the imminent third wave.
Night Curfew in Tripura
Meanwhile, the Tripura government on Sunday decided to impose night curfew across the state from Monday in a bid to curb the spread of rising coronavirus cases. The night curfew will remain in force from 9 pm till 5 am for 10 days starting Monday, a notification said.
The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday banned social and religious functions till January 24. It also prohibited any gathering of more than 100 people for indoor and 300 people for outdoor academic, sport, cultural and political events, according to an order.
Attendance of staff at state government offices was capped at 50 percent. The restrictions, however, will not be applicable to emergency services.
The Rajasthan government announced the closure of schools in municipal areas till January 17, a Sunday curfew and restricted market timings and occupancy at restaurants and movie theatres.
A one-day complete lockdown was enforced across Tamil Nadu and most roads and other public places wore a deserted look. Suburban and other train operations, bus and other public transport services including the Metrorail in Chennai were suspended.
Puducherry government also announced that all schools conducting offline classes for students from classes 1 to 9 will remain shut from Monday.
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the state government will gradually bring curbs at places of worship and other sites, including liquor vends, that attract crowds to control the coronavirus pandemic.
He, however, said that even as cases are rising, hospital bed occupancy and oxygen demand remain low.
On Saturday, when Maharashtra reported over 41,000 new COVID-19 cases, the state government decided to prohibit movement in public in groups of five or more from 5 AM to 11 PM. Further, no movement will be allowed in public from 11 PM to 5 AM except for essential services, a government circular had said.
On Sunday, the state government revised the COVID-19-related restrictions for gyms and beauty salons, allowing them to operate at 50 percent capacity from January 11.
The state government has announced closure of schools and colleges till February 15. The government had also decided to cap the attendance at marriages and social, religious, cultural or political gatherings at 50.
In the national capital, which was under weekend curfew, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there is no plan to impose a lockdown as of now and that there will be no need for it if people wear masks.
“Rising COVID-19 cases are a matter of concern but there is no need to panic. Very few people are getting hospitalised. Wearing mask is very important,” he said.
The national capital has been seeing an uptick of daily cases in the last few days, mainly triggered by the Omicron variant of the infection.
According to Union health ministry data updated at 8 AM on Sunday, a total of 1,79,723 new coronavirus infections were reported.