The Delhi government on Tuesday directed closure of all private offices, except those in exempted categories, amid rising number of COVID-19 cases. The private offices, which were till now operating with 50 per cent work force, have been asked to follow the practice of work from home.
An order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority also directed for closing of restaurants and bars in the city. However, restaurants have been allowed to service home delivery and take away orders.
The fresh restrictions will come into force with immediate effect and continue till further orders. The COVID-19 situation in Delhi was reviewed at a DDMA meeting on Monday under chairmanship of the Lt Governor in which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also present.
“It has been observed that numbers of COVID-19 cases (including the cases of Omicron variant) have been rapidly increasing over the last few days and positivity rate has crossed 23 percent,” the order said.
“Therefore, it has been felt necessary that some more additional restrictions are required to be imposed in Delhi to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus, including the highly contagious and transmissible Omicron variant,” stated the order.
“All private offices shall be closed, except those which are falling under the exempted category. The practice of work from home shall be followed. All restaurants and bars shall be closed. However, restaurants will be allowed only for home delivery/takeaway of food items,” it stated.
The exempted category of private offices including those of banks, companies providing essential services, insurance and mediclaim, pharma companies, offices of advocates, courier services, non banking financial corporations, security services, media, petrol pumps and oil and gas retail and storage outlets, among others, will be allowed to function with 100 percent staff.
The DDMA had imposed a yellow alert in Delhi on December 28 after the Covid positivity rate remained above five percent for previous two consecutive days. Under yellow alert restrictions, private offices were allowed to function with 50 percent of staff attendance from 9 AM to 5 PM. Government offices in the city are currently working with 50 percent attendance.