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Delhi bans Christmas, New Year gatherings as Omicron cases rise

Delhi bans Christmas, New Year gatherings as Omicron cases rise

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NEW DELHI: As Omicron cases steadily rise in the national capital, the Delhi government on Wednesday banned all gatherings to celebrate Christmas and New Year. All cultural events and other gatherings have been prohibited, according to an order by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), reports NDTV.

District administration officials and the Delhi police have been directed to follow orders and district officials have been asked to submit daily reports. Market trade associations have also been directed to deny entry to customers without masks. 

Delhi has recorded 57 Omicron cases so far, highest among all states and union territories in India. A total of 213 cases of the highly contagious strain of Covid have been detected in India.

Amid signs of rise in infections from the new variant, the Centre, in an advisory, has asked the states to activate "war rooms" and bring back curbs, including night curfews to contain it. It also listed a series of prevention and containment measures that included extensive testing and regulation of gatherings.

The letter from the health ministry had called for "greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making and strict and prompt containment action", as it directed the states/union territories to be "prompt and focused and take containment measures and restrictions even before these thresholds are reached".

India's Coronavirus tally reached 3,47,58,481 today after the country reported 6,317 new infections, which is a jump of 18 per cent from yesterday's 5,326 cases.  The active cases have declined to 78,190, the lowest in 575 days. With 318 deaths over the past 24 hours, the total death count in the pandemic has climbed to 4.78 lakhs.

The World Health Organization has said the Omicron variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid.