Delhi government decides to allow certain relaxations in the fourth leg of coronavirus lockdown as per Centre's guidelines. Public transport, including buses, taxis and auto rickshaws will be allowed to ply on the streets with certain restrictions, but metro services will remain suspended. Shops have been allowed to open on odd-even basis, whereas shopping malls and barber shops will remain closed for now. Masks and social distancing will remain mandatory all over the national capital. "Lockdown cannot be permanent. Delhi government has used the lockdown in the past two months to prepare. When coronavirus arrived in India, we didn't have enough preparations, but we have made arrangements in the past two months. Now we have to move toward reopening our economy," CM Kejriwal says.
Shops selling essential items have been allowed to operate all round the week. Meanwhile, shops in markets and market complexes will operate on odd-even principle, the Delhi Chief Minister said. Shops not following social distancing norms will be shut down, he added.
Public transport has been allowed with certain restrictions. Driver of public transport vehicles will be responsible for sanitising the seats after a passenger alights. Buses will be allowed to run, but with only 20 passengers, he added.
Auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws will be allowed to ferry one passenger, whereas taxi and cabs will be allowed to carry two passengers, Kejriwal said. Gramin seva, phatphat seva, eco-friendly seva have also been allowed to run with two passengers.
Maxi cabs can carry 5 passengers and RTVs can carry 11 passengers. Car pooling and car sharing have been forbidden for cab service aggregators.
For private vehicles, four-wheelers have been allowed to carry two passengers, whereas two-wheelers cannot have a pillion rider, Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal said that Metro services, schools, colleges, educational institutions, hotels, cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums and assembly halls will remain closed. Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious and any kind of big gatherings will not be allowed, he added. Places of worship and religious gatherings will also remain prohibited in Delhi during Lockdown 4.0.
Night curfew from 7:00 pm to7:00 am will be observed, where people will not be allowed to move around, except for essential services. People aged above 65 years, children below 10 years, pregnant women and patients of other diseases like diabetes, cardiac diseases will not be allowed to go out of their as coronavirus proves fatal for them, Kejriwal said.
Restaurants have been allowed to open in Delhi, but they can offer only takeaway services, Kejriwal said. Stadiums and sports complexes will be opened, but audiences will not be allowed to attend these matches.
All government and private offices have been allowed to open with their full strength. CM Kejriwal urged private offices to allow their employees to work from home as much as possible. Industries will be reopened with staggered timings. Construction activities have also been allowed but with local workers only.
All activities have been prohibited in containment zones, except essential services.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said people will have to live with corona so it was decided to open Delhi “slowly and cautiously”.
“We have to live with corona so Delhi decides to open but slowly and cautiously. Public Buses, Taxis, Auto allowed to operate. Markets, shops, offices, restaurants-home delivery allowed. Metro, malls, barbers, schools closed. Take care and stay safe,” Sisodia said in a tweet.
His remark came after the Delhi government announced the guidelines for the lockdown 4.0 starting from Monday.
While the Delhi Metro operations will remain suspended, Carpooling or car-sharing will not be allowed for aggregators. Taxi and cabs can resume services but will not carry more than two passengers.
BJP MP Gautam Gambhir lashed out at Arvind Kejriwal, calling it a “death warrant”.
Gambhir tweeted: “The decision to open up almost everything in one go can act as a DEATH WARRANT for Delhiites! I urge Delhi Govt to think again & again! One wrong move & everything will be over!!”
But, the BJP MP says the pace of relaxation should have been slow rather than immediate which he fears may cause more positive cases aggravating the situation.
The coronavirus cases count in the national capital has crossed the 10,000-mark as it reached 10,054 and the death toll has reached 160, the Delhi Health Department said on Monday.
With 299 new cases reported in a day, Delhi’s tally of coronavirus patients has jumped to 10,054, with 5,409 active cases, it said.
As per the Delhi Health reports, 12 new fatalities were added in the tally taking the total COVID death toll in the national capital to 160, however, none of these were reported in the last 24 hours.
The Health report said that the cumulative death figures refer to fatalities where primary cause of death was found to be the infection, as per the report of the Death Audit Committee on the basis of case sheets received from various hospitals.
The Health Department said a total of 289 patients have recovered in the city in the last 24 hours.
“Total 299 new cases were reported and the positive cases in the city reached 10,054 on Monday. At least 4,485 patients have recovered from coronavirus so far in Delhi while 5,409 cases are active,” the Health Department said.
According to the Delhi Health Bulletin, among the 160 who died, 138 had other serious diseases. Also, only 33 people out of the total deaths were those below the age of 50 years.
As the nationwide lockdown has been extended for two more weeks till May 31, heavy vehicular traffic was witnessed on Monday at the Delhi-Gurugram and Delhi-Noida borders as people came out to attend their offices.
On Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) way, that connects south Delhi with Noida, heavy traffic was witnessed on Monday morning.
Long queues of vehicles were seen at the check posts as many people willing to attend their offices arrived at the borders on early Monday morning. The vehicular queue went up to over a kilometre as the police deployed at the border checked the passes and the identity cards of the people travelling.
Similar scenes were witnessed at the Delhi-Gurugram borders as people arrived on way to their offices. The traffic in the national capital also witnessed a surge as a number of vehicles were seen on the streets in areas like Income Tax Office (ITO) and others. (IANS)