Rajasthan on Wednesday night announced a 12-hour daily curfew – from 6 pm to 5 am – starting Friday, across all cities, as part of a series of measures to combat a worrying spike in Covid cases.
The curfew will be in effect till the end of the month.
Other measures include closing of markets by 5 pm daily, and the complete closure of all educational and coaching institutions. Factories and bus stands will be exempt from this order.
Public functions and sporting events will not be allowed.
Weddings can have a maximum of 50 guests, as opposed to the earlier 100-guest cap.
The state reported 6,200 new Covid cases on Wednesday – including 1,325 from capital Jaipur – with the positivity rate skyrocketing from two per cent last month to nearly eight per cent now.
On Monday 5,771 cases were detected. The day before 5,105 were logged and on Saturday the number was 4,401. The seven-day average of new cases has hit an all-time high of over 4,000.
The active caseload has crossed the 40,000-mark – a worrying sign for a state that seemed to have contained, relative to others in the country, the deadly virus.
Nearly 3,000 deaths have been linked to the novel coronavirus so far.
Faced with this spike Rajasthan has also suspended Class 10 and 12 state board exams, and said that students of Classes 8 to 10 will be promoted to the next year.
Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra made these announcements earlier today – on the same day the centre, faced with desperate calls from students, parents and the opposition, postponed Class 12 CBSE exams and suspended those for Class 10.
Meanwhile, as the number of cases spike, the state has also flagged depleting stocks of vaccines; last week Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue.
State authorities said vaccine shipments are not being made, at least not in requested volumes. The centre, though, has dismissed these claims as “hue and cry” by certain states.
Earlier on Wednesday a Jaipur hospital filed a police case after 320 Covaxin doses went ‘missing’.
India this morning reported over 1.84 lakh cases in a 24-hour period – a record high, and the eighth straight day of more than one lakh new cases.