NEW DELHI: Authorities in Delhi on Tuesday ordered people to stay home over coming weekends having seen COVID-19 cases quadruple in a week, with its chief minister saying he had caught the virus just a day after he addressed an election rally without a mask.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the most senior elected official of the Indian capital’s administration, was one of the 37,379 new COVID-19 cases reported in India in the past 24 hours. Deaths in the past day totaled 124.
The daily case load was the highest since early September and experts suspect the highly transmissible Omicron variant has begun to overtake the Delta variant as the latest wave of coronavirus infection builds in places like Delhi, though authorities say hospitalisations have not spiked yet.
Delhi is reporting more than 4,000 new cases a day, and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said though most patients were showing mild or no symptoms and recovering fast, people will have to stay indoors on Saturday and Sundays to rein in the virus.
On weekdays, most offices will have ensure that half their employees work from home, he told a media briefing, adding that when possible infected people should stay home so that hospitals are able to handle the most serious cases.