Delhi logged 23 COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday, the highest since June 16, and the positivity rate rose to 25.65 per cent with the government directing closure of all private offices, except those in exempted categories.
According to data shared by the health department, 21,259 cases were reported on Tuesday, the highest single-day infection since May 1.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government had to impose restrictions out of compulsion but a complete lockdown will not be implemented.
Noting that it is difficult to predict when the third wave of infections will peak, Kejriwal said the Centre's representatives have assured the Delhi government that Covid-related curbs imposed in the capital will be replicated across the NCR.
An order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority also directed for the closing of restaurants and bars in the city. However, restaurants have been allowed to service home delivery and take away orders.
The fresh restrictions will come into force with immediate effect and continue till further orders.
According to government data, 93 Covid patients have died in Delhi in the first 11 days of January.
With the national capital reporting 70 deaths due to COVID-19 in the first 10 days of January and a majority of them being comorbid, the government on Tuesday issued an advisory asking all hospitals to ensure that such patients are duly attended by specialists.
Delhi reported 17 fatalities each on Sunday and Monday.
It recorded 54 deaths in the last five months -- nine in December, seven in November, four in October, five in September and 29 in August. In July, the virus had claimed 76 lives in the capital.
"Covid cases are rapidly rising throughout the country. Delhi too is witnessing a rise but we have noticed that the speed of the spread of the virus has slowed down. I hope that this trend will continue and the Covid spread will come down," Kejriwal said at a press conference.
"At a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, we told the representatives of the Centre that restrictions should be implemented in the entire NCR and not just in Delhi. They have assured us that restrictions in Delhi will be replicated in the region," he added.
The number of daily cases has been oscillating between 20,000 and 22,000 for three days with a positivity rate of 24 per cent to 25 per cent, but "it doesn't mean that cases won't increase", he said.
The SUTRA model by IIT scientists has predicted the third wave in Delhi will peak around January 15 and the city can record around 70,000 cases daily during that time.
After reviewing the situation at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Kejriwal said only six patients had come to the health facility for treatment of COVID, and added that infections during the third surge are "very mild" as compared to the deadly wave in April last year.
"During the last wave, a large number of people had been hospitalised. This time the number is very low. Around 2,000 Covid patients are undergoing treatment at hospitals. I believe the number of people who have come for treatment of Covid only is very low," Kejriwal told reporters.
"Though the number of cases has been rising, hospitalisations has remained very low so far. The number of deaths is also less. But we are prepared for any eventuality," he said.