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NEW DELHI: India’s capital Delhi lifted a weekend curfew and allowed restaurants and marketplaces to reopen on Friday, following a sharp drop in new infections of COVID-19.

Under new orders, however, the city will remain under night time curfew, and schools will be closed, Delhi’s lieutenant governor said. Restaurants, bars and cinemas will be allowed to operate with up to 50% capacity and the number of people at weddings will be restricted to 200.

“In view of the decline in positive cases, it was decided to gradually ease restrictions while ensuring adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour,” Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, who represents the federal government, said.

The number of new cases in Delhi fell to 4,291 on Jan. 27 from a peak of 28,867 on Jan. 13. More than 85% of COVID beds across the city’s hospitals were unoccupied, government data showed.

“The hospitalisation is far, far lower compared to what we saw in the previous wave,” said Dr. Desh Deepak, a senior physician with state-run Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi. “Most patients who have died had underlying conditions such as cancer or kidney disease and most were not fully vaccinated.”

Last week, authorities eased some curbs, allowing private offices to be partially staffed but advised people to work from home as much as possible.

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