Markets in Delhi to open on odd-even basis from Monday, Metro to run at 50% capacity, announces CM Kejriwal
- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said private offices will be allowed to function with 50% staff. Group A staff of government offices will be allowed to function with 100% and group B with 50% staff, Kejriwal added.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday the lockdown, imposed since April 19 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), will continue in the national capital but announced some relaxations. Kejriwal said local markets can open in the national capital on an odd and even basis from 10am to 8pm. Malls can also resume their business but will be required to follow the same guidelines. Standalone shops can open all days.
Private offices will be allowed to function with 50% staff. Group A staff of government offices will be allowed to function with 100% and group B with 50% staff, Kejriwal added.
Services of the Delhi Metro will also resume with 50% capacity, according to the chief minister.
"If the situation remains under control after resumption of these activities, more will be allowed in coming weeks," Kejriwal said via video conferencing. The new guidelines will come into from Monday.
On preparations for the possible third wave of the pandemic, the chief minister said that Delhi is prepared to combat the next wave of Covid-19. "We have set up a paediatric task force," he announced referring to concerns that the children may be more at risk of catching a virus in the third wave.
"With an expected third wave of Covid-19, 420 tonnes of oxygen storage capacity is being prepared. We have also spoken to Indraprastha Gas Limited to produce 150 tonnes of oxygen," CM Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also announced that two genome sequencing labs will be set up in Delhi for detection of new variants, if there would be any. "A team of doctors and experts will be set up to examine the demand of medicines to tackle panic and the WhatsApp forwards of medicines ," Kejriwal said.
Delhi witnessed the catastrophic wave of Covid-19, beginning from April last week and continued till the end of May. During this, it saw an exponential rise in the daily Covid-19 cases which led to swamped hospitals and crematoriums running out of space to bury the dead.
People were struggling to secure an oxygen bed for their family members, while key medicines like Remdesivir, fabiflu, all went out of stock at most pharmacies.
Over the last few days, the Covid-19 situation in Delhi has improved significantly and the number of daily cases has come down to below the 1,000-mark. It neared 30,000 at the time of the peak of the second wave. It recorded 28,395 cases on April 20 and a positivity rate of more than 36% on April 22.
In view of the dip in daily infections, the Delhi government began the unlocking process last week, and allowed manufacturing and construction activities.
Over the last 24-hours, Delhi reported about 400 Covid-19 cases while positivity rate is around 0.5 per cent.