With Delhi reporting the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases in six months, a declaration of Yellow Alert with its host of restrictions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is likely to come into effect. The COVID positivity rate surpassed 0.5 per cent for the second consecutive day in the national capital and according to GRAP, this is the scale of implementing a yellow alert.
The national capital on Monday reported 331 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the last six months. On June 6, Delhi had reported 331 cases. Moreover, the positivity rate in the city moved up to 0.68 per cent, the highest since the last six months. On June 2, the positivity rate was 0.78 per cent.
A yellow alert may come into effect under four-stage Graded Response Action Plan in Delhi. However, the Delhi government is yet to take a decision on the matter. If a yellow alert is declared in the national capital, most of the activities resumed earlier including schools, colleges, cinemas may be closed.
In the meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) held on July 9, 2021, the Delhi government approved GRAP. Accordingly, keeping in mind the third COVID-19 wave, four alerts were determined namely, yellow alert, amber alert, orange alert and red alert. In view of the current situation of COVID-19, the yellow alert is likely to be implemented by the Delhi Government and DDMA, sources said.
There are many restrictions on the implementation of yellow alert in Delhi. Notably, the Delhi government has already imposed a night curfew effective from Monday. The duration is from 11 pm to 5 am.
But apart from this, schools, colleges, educational institutions, and coaching institutes can be closed under yellow alert. At the same time, there is a provision under this that shops and malls with non-essential services or goods will open from 10 am to 8 pm under the odd-even rule.
If a yellow alert is sounded, private offices will be allowed to open from 9 am to 5 pm with 50 per cent capacity. Restaurants will open with 50 per cent capacity, but from 8 am to 10 pm, while bars will also open with 50 per cent capacity but from 12 noon to 10 pm. Under this, there is a provision to keep cinema halls, multiplexes, banquet halls and auditoriums closed. Hotels will remain open but banquets and conference halls inside the hotel will remain closed.
If the Delhi government orders a yellow alert, then spas, gyms, yoga institutes and entertainment parks will remain closed, but outdoor yoga will be allowed. Delhi Metro will run with 50 per cent seating capacity and travelling standing will not be allowed. At the same time, buses going from one state to another will run with 50 per cent seating capacity, while only two passengers will be allowed to travel in auto, e-rickshaw, taxi and cycle rickshaws.
As per the response plan, sports complexes, stadiums and swimming pools will also be closed in yellow alert, although national or international sports events can be held. Only 20 people will be allowed to attend the wedding ceremony and funeral. Religious places will remain open but entry of devotees will be restricted. There is also a provision to ban social, political, religious, festival and entertainment-related activities in this alert, although this ban is still going on in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a high-level review meeting today amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital after it witnessed the largest single-day cases spike on Monday in the last six months. The meeting is scheduled to be held at noon at the Delhi Secretariat. The implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan is likely to be the top agenda of the meeting.