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Fear of another migrant exodus why Delhi hasn’t imposed stricter restrictions as Covid surges

New Delhi, January 05 (KMS): The Delhi government in India has refrained from implementing stricter restrictions in the light of the current Covid-19 surge, fearing it could lead to a large number of migrants leaving the city, as during the first two lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, senior officials in the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) have told media.

According to the officials, fear of mass migration — which can have health, economic and political repercussions — is the primary factor that is forcing the government to tread with caution when it comes to imposing restrictions.

Delhi Tuesday recorded 5,481 new Covid-19 cases and a positivity rate of 8.37 per cent — up from Monday’s 6.5 per cent, the government’s health bulletin said.

The DDMA held a meeting Tuesday to discuss the possibilities of more curbs, including whether to declare a “red alert”, which implies a full lockdown under the government’s own graded action plan for Covid-19, in the light of a high positivity rate, according to government documents ThePrint has accessed.

But after Tuesday’s meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced only a few restrictions — such as a weekend curfew and a work-from-home plan for government offices not engaged in essential services — over and above restrictions implemented since 27 December.

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