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Free online yoga for Delhi as Omicron shuts offices, eateries

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People perform a yoga position in a park in New Delhi.
People perform a yoga position in a park in New Delhi.

INDIA: New Delhi ordered yesterday the closure of non-essential offices and restaurants and bars but offered free online yoga classes to those in home isolation, as COVID-19 cases soared in the Indian capital and nationwide.

With case numbers rising six-fold over the past week, the Indian government is terrified of a repeat of last year when thousands died of the virus every day and the health system teetered on the brink of collapse.

While stopping short of a full lockdown, authorities have steadily increased restrictions nationwide and capacity at private offices and eateries in the capital was already restricted to 50%.

But those in home isolation can take free online yoga classes, with Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying that it would help patients “boost their immunity and attain mental and spiritual peace”.

Experts say that India is better prepared to deal with the latest coronavirus wave, driven by the Omicron variant, than last year.

The country has now administered more than 1.5 billion vaccine shots and recently opened the programme to teenagers. It has also begun giving boosters to vulnerable groups. The surge last year, which killed more than 200,000 people – and possibly several times more – was blamed in part on huge political rallies and religious events.

The latest spike comes ahead of elections in five Indian states including Uttar Pradesh, home to 220 million people, beginning next month.- GULF TIMES

Thursday, January 13, 2022 – 01:00

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