More than 17000 people tested positive for Covid 19 in Delhi on Wednesday, marking the highest single-day spike ever since the pandemic broke out. Delhi’s fourth wave is proving to be even more challenging to contain since there are multiple strains of virus identified among those infected. In the wake of the situation, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced the weekend curfew. Shopping malls, auditoriums, restaurants, spas and gyms will remain shut over the weekend. Theatres will be allowed to screen movies with only 30% capacity. People will not be allowed to dine in at restaurants and only home deliveries are permitted. While Delhi CM has confirmed that the curfew is only for this weekend, restaurants across the city are plagued by fear of another lockdown and their chances of staying in business.
Mr Anurag Katriar, President of The National Restaurant Authority Of India or the NRAI, said, “The decision by the Delhi Government to impose a weekend lockdown and weekday night curfew is a direct result of the growing caseload and perhaps the advent of the second surge of COVID. Unfortunately, this brings us to square one; the same place we were standing aimlessly a year ago at the peak of the pandemic. Once again, our restaurants are relegated to being delivery kitchens, a sense of pessimism has replaced our short-lived optimism and we are once again back at fighting for our mere survival.”
“Just when things were looking up, this second wave has come as a massive dampener and has undone whatever small gains we had made,” he added.
Operating within the prescribed hours of home delivery is also not a sustainable model, Anurag added. “We request the government to allow round-the-clock home delivery of food in lines with what Mumbai has done,” he suggested.
After managing logistics and vendor commission, takeaways and home deliveries do not end up being quite as profitable for restaurants. This is why many restaurants are urging patrons to order directly from them.
The weekend curfew in Delhi will take place from 10 PM on Friday and will be lifted post 5 AM on Monday. The government has urged people to not violate the rules and go through the dos and don’ts thoroughly.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.