NEW DELHI : Amid a drop in COVID-19 cases, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced more relaxations in restrictions, allowing malls and markets to open daily from 10 am to 8 pm from Monday. As part of reopening the national capital in a phased-manner. As per the new directions, all the markets can now re-open without following the odd-even criteria. Schools, colleges, educational & coaching institutions will remain closed.
Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious festival gatherings prohibited. Swimming pools, stadiums, sports complexes, cinema theaters, multiplexes will remain closed. Shops, malls and restaurants in Delhi will open from tomorrow as Covid numbers in the national capital drop to a three-month low. Shops will be open seven days a week instead of the current odd-even system. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, however, said this will be on trial basis for a week and strict action will be taken if the Covid numbers rise.
Addressing a virtual press briefing, the Chief Minister said that the government will monitor the situation for a week and if COVID-19 cases rise, restrictions will again be imposed on markets and restaurants. He also asserted that the coronavirus situation in Delhi is under control to a larger extent and preparations are on for a possible third wave. The phase-wise unlocking process in Delhi had begun with allowing construction and manufacturing activities from May 31.
Restaurants — which were open only for takeaways and home deliveries — can now have diners but with only 50 per cent of seating capacity. Weekly markets have also been allowed but with 50 per cent vendors and only one market per day will function in each municipal zone. Salons can open but spas will remain shut. Government offices can open with full capacity, private offices with 50 per cent capacity. Delhi Metro and buses will run at 50 per cent capacity.
On Saturday, Delhi government data indicated that only 213 cases were recorded over a 24-hour period — the lowest in more than three months, bringing the overall caseload to 14,30,884. The national capital also recorded 28 deaths due to COVID-19 which took the total death count to 24,800. The current figures are a huge improvement on the numbers from April-May as the national capital crossed 28,000, an all-time high. The subsequent crisis at hospitals – with a shortage of drugs, beds and oxygen – had made headlines.