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Covid Blues: World Book Fair 2022 postponed

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The World Book Fair 2022 that was scheduled to be held from January 8 to 16 at the new International Exhibition Centre at Pragati Maidan has been postponed due to the guidelines laid down to contain the surge in Covid 19 cases.

"In view of the latest DDMA guidelines, and the requests made by various stakeholders, the New Delhi World Book Fair 2022 has been postponed. The fresh dates will be announced separately," the National Book Trust said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on Tuesday decided to impose a weekend curfew in the capital in the wake of the Covid-19 resurgence.

In a virtual meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the Authority suggested a weekend curfew during which no non-essential movement will be allowed.

The meeting also discussed imposing more restrictions in the city in an effort to curb the unabated surge.

According to the DDMA order, staff of all government offices, except those dealing with essential services, will work from home. A 50 per cent occupancy cap has been imposed on private offices.

On Wednesday, city doctors advised residents not to panic but to strictly adhere to the Covid norms such as maintaining social distance, wearing masks, maintaining proper sanitisation, and getting vaccinated.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday morning announced the start of a third Covid wave in the national capital, and warned the cases can jump to close to 10,000 with the infection rate nearing 10 per cent by the evening.

By evening, as predicted by Jain, Delhi reported 10,665 fresh Covid-19 cases – the highest since May 12 - and eight deaths, and the positivity rate also shot up to 11.88 per cent. The number of active cases in the capital now stands at 23,307.

The rapid increase in cases could also be due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid that is reportedly driving the third wave in the national capital. Delhi on Wednesday reported 464 Omicron cases, the second-highest in the country after Maharashtra (653).