Kejriwal Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: India’s capital New Delhi will go into weekend lockdowns to contain a steep increase in COVID-19 infections, the city’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.

Shopping malls, gyms, dine-out service at restaurants and some weekly markets will be shut during the weekend and only essential services would remain operational, Kejriwal said.

Trips to railway stations, hospitals and airports will be allowed as essential services, but shopping malls, gymnasiums, spas and auditoriums must close, he said in a statement. He also said 5,000 hospital beds are available and more capacity is being added, so there was no bed shortage in the capital.

India reported more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, skyrocketing past 14 million overall.

In the capital, New Delhi, more than a dozen hotels and wedding banquet halls were ordered to be converted into COVID-19 centers attached to hospitals.

"The surge is alarming," said S.K. Sarin, a government health expert in New Delhi.

The bustle of India's biggest city and financial capital, Mumbai, ebbed under lockdown-like curbs to curb the spread of the virus. The action imposed by worst-hit Maharashtra state Wednesday night closed most industries, businesses and public places and limits the movement of people for 15 days, but didn't stop train and air services.