Call on reopening malls, hotels, borders on Saturday, says Delhi govt

Updated on Jun 06, 2020 03:02 AM IST

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called a high-level meeting on Saturday to discuss the remaining parameters of unlocking Delhi under the Centre’s phase-1 guidelines and preparedness for handling Covid-19 patients.

Till Friday evening, the government had received more than 7.5 lakh responses from people regarding the opening of Delhi’s borders, which were shut for a week on Monday, and limiting city hospitals to residents of the Capital.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Till Friday evening, the government had received more than 7.5 lakh responses from people regarding the opening of Delhi’s borders, which were shut for a week on Monday, and limiting city hospitals to residents of the Capital.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By, New Delhi

The Delhi government will on Saturday take a call on whether malls, places of worship, hotels and the borders should be opened or stay shut, and also decide if hospital beds should be limited for Delhi residents.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called a high-level meeting on Saturday to discuss the remaining parameters of unlocking Delhi under the Centre’s phase-1 guidelines and preparedness for handling Covid-19 patients.

Till Friday evening, the government had received more than 7.5 lakh responses from people regarding the opening of Delhi’s borders, which were shut for a week on Monday, and limiting city hospitals to residents of the Capital.

“Earlier it was decided that the decision on the first phase of unlocking the city -- opening of malls, dine-in restaurants, places of worship and hotels -- would be taken on June 7 (Sunday). But now both decisions, including border sealing and hospital beds, will be taken on Saturday,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, Delhi recorded 1,330 new Covid cases, taking the total to 26,334. Also, as many as 25 new deaths were recorded, taking the toll to 708. Out of the 15,311 active Covid cases as on Friday, 10,255 had mild or no symptoms.

“The move to seek suggestions from the public by the Delhi government received an overwhelming response. Till 5 pm today, the Delhi government received around 7,00,000 WhatsApp messages, 5,000 emails, and 53,000 calls. More than 7.5 lakh people have sent their suggestions on the appeal of the CM,” a statement from Kejriwal’s office read.

A government spokesperson said the present situation in Delhi will be reviewed keeping in mind public suggestions. “Experts and doctors will also be consulted on Saturday, other than top officials of the government,” the spokesperson said.

On Monday, Kejriwal in a digital press briefing, had allowed barber shops and salons to operate. Kejriwal had also allowed markets to open on all days of the week . The order, however, remained silent on the opening of malls, dine-in restaurants, places of worship and so on.

A senior health official said hotels may not be allowed to operate since they are being requisitioned to be developed as Covid care facilities.

Kejriwal had also announced the sealing of the borders for a week starting Monday, with essential services remaining functional and government officers continuing to travel on their identity cards.

On Thursday, Kejriwal, in an interview to TV news channel News18 India, said he was in favour of opening all borders but expressed concern over Covid beds getting filled within two days if patients from across the country keep coming for treatment in Delhi.

“About 60-70% of patients in Delhi’s hospitals at any given point of time are from other states. We have so far got about 5-6 lakh suggestions and some of them are really interesting. Some people suggested Delhi government’s hospitals should be reserved for residents of Delhi while Central government hospitals should be opened to all. The specialised facilities such as transplantations should also be opened for everyone,” Kejriwal had said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Goswami writes on politics, urban development, transportation, energy and social welfare. Based in Delhi, she tracks government policies and suggests corrections based on public feedback and on-ground implementation through her reports. She has also covered the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) since its inception.

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