India imposes stricter rules to prevent COVID-19 spread during festive season


MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian authorities began to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent mass gatherings at events and public venues forward of recent yr celebrations because the nation sees a spike in COVID-19 infections.

Night curfews have been imposed in all main cities and eating places ordered to restrict clients, officers mentioned.

However, state authorities have been discovering it tough to restrict crowding in markets, spiritual websites and vacation locations as they have been allowed to stay open, the officers mentioned.

The nation reported 13,154 new COVID-19 instances and 268 deaths within the final 24 hours, the federal well being ministry mentioned, with city centres reporting a giant soar. It was the best variety of every day infections since October.

Cases of an infection by the Omicron variant rose to 961 throughout India.

Police within the monetary capital Mumbai prohibited public gatherings of 5 or extra residents till January 7 because it recorded a pointy soar in instances with 2,510 infections, the best every day enhance since May, native authorities mentioned.

“It is being seen that social gatherings are occurring in an unrestricted method with individuals flouting all social distancing norms…we try our greatest to management the spread of the virus,” mentioned Rajesh Tope, the well being minister of the western state of Maharashtra of which Mumbai is the capital.

Tope mentioned the following 48 hours have been vital for authorities to prevent an escalation of contemporary COVID-19 instances.

Earlier this week, India accelerated vaccine distribution by approving Merck’s COVID-19 capsule and two extra vaccines for emergency use.

Asia’s third-largest financial system has already mentioned it should permit COVID-19 booster photographs for a few of its inhabitants.

The emergency approvals come at a time measures are being taken to ramp up oxygen provides and hospital beds.

But an ongoing strike by 1000’s of junior docs towards the federal government has added strain on the delicate well being infrastructure.

Around 13,000 junior docs throughout the nation are persevering with with the strike to protest towards delayed postgraduate admissions, mentioned Dr Manish, President of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association India.

“We are persevering with with the agitation,” mentioned Manish, who solely makes use of one identify. “If (COVID-19) instances are rising, then how is the federal government planning to cope with the state of affairs with out these docs within the hospitals?”

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru, Devjyot Ghosal, Manoj Kumar in New Delhi, Abhirup Roy in Mumbai, Sunil Kataria in Goa, Summit Khana in Ahmedabad, Writing by Rupam Jain, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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