NEW DELHI: The weekend curfew imposed in Delhi in the wake of raging Covid situation got an encouraging response on Saturday as people largely obeyed the guidelines and most of the people avoided non-essential travel. The roads were largely deserted, and people remained confined to their homes so that they can contribute towards breaking the chain of coronavirus transmission.
“The weekend curfew was imposed to fight Covid. News is coming from all over that people are obeying the curfew. We are keeping a watch on the situation for the next few days. If the situation deteriorates, then we will take all necessary steps needed to control the situation for your safety and to save your lives,” CM Arvind Kejriwal said in a press conference. CM hoped that people will continue to support the government in a similar manner in future.
The entire capital was shut, and work in all industrial areas and markets remained closed barring some essential shops like medicine shops. Delhi Police personnel and district administration teams kept a watch at sensitive places to ensure that the weekend curfew guidelines are not violated. The markets, which usually brimmed with activities on weekends, also did not report the flow of customers.
A few individuals who were found moving on the streets or in the markets were stopped by the police to find out the reason behind their movement. Most of them were moving for essential purposes. Most of the people moving during the curfew carried valid identity cards or curfew passes and those moving without valid reasons were prosecuted for violating the curfew.
The district administration and the police held multiple meetings with market associations before the start of the curfew and sought their help in making it successful. The market associations supported the curbs which helped it to become a success.
Brijesh Goyal of Chamber of Trade and Industry said that all the markets like Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Sadar Bazaar, Connaught Place and others have strictly followed the curfew guidelines.
The bus terminals and railway stations, however, continued to report the footfall of individuals who were going to their destinations outside the capital. During the curfew, the government has permitted interstate travel and those going to airport, railway stations and bus stands are permitted movement on the production of valid tickets. People engaged in essential services were seen moving in Delhi Metro. All public transport services were not crowded like on weekdays.
There was no mad rush for curfew passes, perhaps, because curfew has been imposed only for this weekend for now. No official figure on the total number of curfew passes issued was shared by authorities. The night curfew passes issued earlier are valid for weekend curfew also.
The weekend curfew, which began on Friday 10pm, will continue to remain in force till 5am on Monday. The government has announced weekend curfew only for the current weekend and a decision about imposing curfew on the next weekend (April 24-25) will be taken next week. All essential services and government officials moving for official purposes have been exempted from the weekend curfew.