Amid predictions of an imminent third wave of COVID-19, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday, 9 July, decided on a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to deal with the impending outbreak.
The plan lays down a four-level, colour-coded alert system for the imposition of COVID curbs as per the severity of the outbreak in the national capital, news agency PTI reported.
The plan was passed at a meeting chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, and attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and ICMR Chief Balram Bhargava, among others.
"A Graded Response Action Plan was passed at the DDMA meeting today. Now, no doubts will remain over when the lockdown will be imposed, or what will be opened when," CM Kejriwal tweeted.
The level of alert issued will be contingent on the positivity rate in the national capital (measured on two consecutive days), the total number of new cases in Delhi over a week, and the average oxygenated bed occupancy observed over a week.
The four levels of the colour-coded plan have been labelled as Yellow, Amber, Orange and Red.
Level-1 or 'Yellow' Alert
The Level-1 or the Yellow alert will be instated when the positivity rate in Delhi rises above 0.5 percent, or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 500, or if more than 1,500 fresh cases are reported.
Under this level, construction and manufacturing activities will be allowed to continue. Private offices will be able to open with 50 percent of their staff.
Shops trading in non-essential goods as well as malls will be allowed to open between 10 am to 8 pm, on an odd-even basis. Shops and establishments dealing in essential goods and services will be allowed to open on all days.
One weekly market per zone will be allowed to operate, with 50 percent of the usual vendor capacity.
The Delhi Metro will be operational at 50 percent of its seating capacity under this level. Cabs and auto-rickshaws will be allowed to carry no more than two passengers.
Restaurants and bars will be permitted to open with 50 percent of their seating capacity. While restaurants can run between 8am and 10pm, bars will open at 12pm and close at 10pm.
A night curfew will be instated from 10pm to 5am.
Salons and hotels will be operational. Gymnasiums, cinema halls, entertainment parks and banquet halls will remain shut.
Level-2 or 'Amber' Alert
The second level of COVID restrictions, labelled as the Amber alert, will come into effect if the positivity rate spikes above 1 percent in the national capital, more than 3,500 fresh cases are reported, or oxygenated bed occupancy exceeds 700, PTI reported.
Under this stage of alert, a weekend curfew will also be instated.
The further restrictions that will be imposed under this level include the change in operational hours of malls and shops selling non-essential goods - from 10 am to 6 pm.
Delhi metro will function at 33 percent of its seating capacity. Buses will be allowed to run at 50 percent capacity, for groups of passengers who have permission to travel, NDTV reported.
Restaurants will be shut for dine-in; home-delivery and takeaway services will continue.
Salons will also remain shut. Hotels will be permitted to open.
Level-3 or 'Orange' Alert
The third level or Orange alert will come into effect if the national capital reports a positivity rate higher than 2 percent, more than 9,000 fresh cases in a week, or the occupancy of a 1,000 oxygenated beds.
As per the guidelines laid down for this stage, manufacturing activities of only essential items will be allowed to continue. Construction activities may take place if the labourers stay on the site of the work.
Metro services will be halted. Buses will ply at 50 percent capacity, for persons with permission to travel, NDTV reported.
Shops and establishments providing essential goods and services will remain operational. Only stand-alone shops selling non-essential goods will be allowed to open, PTI reported.
The night and weekend curfews will remain instated.
Level-4 or 'Red' Alert
The highest stage of alert will be sounded if the city observes a positivity rate of more than 5 percent for two consecutive days, a rise of over 16,000 in fresh cases, or a bed occupancy of more than 3,000.
The city will observe complete lockdown under this stage.
Essential services will remain operational. Construction activities with onsite labourers, and manufacturing of essential and defence-related commodities will continue. Stand-alone shops trading in non-essential goods will also remain open.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed under all the levels. Weddings will be allowed to take place, with a limit on the number of attendees. Religious places will remain closed to visitors.
"With this plan, there will be a sense of certainty and accountability on our part towards the people of Delhi. The plan descriptively elaborates upon when the lockdown will be imposed and when it will be lifted," Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal was quoted as saying by PTI.
The national capital reported 81 new cases and 3 death due to COVID-19 on Friday, 9 July.
(With inputs from NDTV and PTI)