Strict action if you break lockdown: KejriwalUpdated: Mar 23, 2020 23:51 IST
New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has warned of strict action from Tuesday against those violating the lockdown imposed in the national capital from Monday to halt the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and promised to increase the number of buses plying on the roads for essential services providers from 25% to 50%.
Addressing the public through a live video, Kejriwal said while most people were following the restrictions imposed, there were some who were not. “Today [Monday] you may have gone out, but not from tomorrow [Tuesday]. We will take strict action from tomorrow. This is to protect your lives and save you and others from the virus,” Kejriwal said. “Do not feel bad [about the strict action].”
Kejriwal said many essential service providers faced inconvenience due to reduced public transportation on Monday. “We have decided to increase the number of buses from 25% to 50%. Most of these buses will ply empty, but the buses will be available,” he said.
Kejriwal appealed house owners not to insist on monthly rents from their tenants for the time being. “I am not asking you not to collect the rent, but postpone it for a month or two. You can collect it later or take it in instalments,” said Kejriwal, adding that many people must have lost their livelihoods due to the lockdown.
Kejriwal reiterated strict action would be taken against employers deducting salaries of their employees for the lockdown period. He clarified manufacturers of masks, medicines, and sanitisers are allowed to continue their operations in the same way as people providing milk, vegetables, grocery, and other essential food items.
The Delhi Police have issued a list of essential service providers, who would be allowed on the roads during the lockdown. They have been using loudspeakers to announce the list of businesses allowed to operate and to ask others to keep their shops closed. Police officers have been instructing grocery shop owners not to hoard items and avoid touching saleable goods as much as possible.
Vijayanta Arya, the deputy commissioner of police (north-west), said they have been instructed to ensure shops offering essential services do not have crowding. “At one time, we are allowing only one customer to visit counters of shops. Others in queues are asked to stand at a distance of one metre from each other,” said Arya.
In some areas, the police asked shopkeepers to draw lines outside their shops to ensure customers stood at a safe distance from each other.
As for people out on the streets, police officers said they are being asked to show their identity cards. “We are going by self declaration of these people unless their presence on the roads seems suspicious. We are checking identity proofs and asking them questions, but mostly choosing to trust them. But if we are coming across anyone roaming outside without a valid reason, we are reprimanding them and sending them back home,” said Anto Alphonse, deputy commissioner of police (Dwarka).
To alleviate troubles faced by hospital staff, the government asked healthcare institutes to hire private vehicles. as per requirement, for the purpose.
“Ensure that a banner is put on the hired vehicle stating ‘emergency duty for COVID-19-Health & Family Welfare Department-Govt of NCT of Delhi’,” read a statement issued by the department of health and family welfare on Monday.