Curbs eased further in Delhi but borders closed for a week; Coronavirus cases cross 20K
New Delhi, Jun 1 () Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a slew of relaxations like lifting restrictions on markets and allowing salons to reopen as the fourth phase of the lockdown ended, but closed Delhi's borders for a week citing the rising number of coronavirus cases which crossed the 20,000 mark.
Kejriwal also sought views of the people of Delhi by Friday on whether its borders should be opened and the city's health facilities reserved for its residents.
Since the last four days, the daily rise in cases has been upwards of 1,000 in the national capital. With 990 fresh cases, the total number of coronavirus cases reached 20,834 on Monday while the death toll mounted to 523.
Among the fatalities was a junior engineer with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal said there will be no restrictions on the number of people travelling in four-wheelers, two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws, e-rickshaws and other vehicles in the city. Measures like 20 passengers on a bus will be in place to maintain social distancing.
He said that until now shops in markets were being allowed to open on an odd-even basis, adding that there are no such restrictions mentioned by the Centre in its latest guidelines.
Now, all shops in the markets will be permitted to function, Kejriwal said.
However, if social-distancing is not maintained outside a shop, it will be closed by authorities, according to an order issued by Chief Secretary Vijay Dev.
It stated that cinema halls, gymnasium , swimming pools, shopping malls, entertainment parks, theatre, bars and auditorium will remain closed.
Hotels and hospitality services except those meant for government services will remain closed. Restaurants will be permitted only for home delivery and takeaway facilities. Dining facility is prohibited.
An official said that the government will issue fresh orders allowing more activities in the city from June 8.
However, lockdown will remain in place in containment zones.
The chief minister said the Delhi government will implement the relaxations permitted by the Centre.
Kejriwal said Delhi's borders will be sealed for a week in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the city.
Some people say borders should be reopened after one week but healthcare services in the city should be available only for Delhiites, Kejriwal said.
Seeking "guidance" from Delhiites, the chief minister asked them to send their suggestions on WhatsApp number 8800007722, email@example.com or by dialling 1031 by 5 pm on Friday.
Although falling in different states, Delhi and its satellites cities are closely linked. A large number of people either stay in these satellite cities and work in Delhi or vice versa.
There was chaos on the Delhi-Faridbad and Delhi-Noida borders in the morning, as authorities allowed entry and exit of those who had valid passes
Kejriwal said as Delhi has best healthcare facilities in comparison to other states and it offers free medical treatment in public hospital, people from across the country will come to Delhi to get treatment and the 9,000 beds available here will be occupied within two days.
"So, what should we do? Should we reopen borders?" he asked.
"Delhi belongs to all of us. (Dilli to dil walon ki hai). Delhi is also of people living in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra among others. Till now, Delhi treats all people. So, how can Delhi deny medical treatment to other people?" he added.
On further easing of curbs on economic activities, he said there will also be no restrictions on the functioning of industries in the national capital.
Construction activities will be allowed wherever workers are available on-site or could be transported to the site from the NCT of Delhi.
Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic and religious functions and other gatherings are prohibited, the order said, adding that all religious places will also remain closed.
Fifty people will be allowed to attend a marriage function. Twenty people will be allowed in gatherings related to funeral.
According to the government, resident welfare associations (RWAs) will not prevent any person from performing his or her duty, which has been allowed in the new guidelines.
District authorities may advise individuals to install Aarogya Setu app for timely provision of medical attention.
"Movement by passenger trains and Shramik Special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals...will continue to be regulated as per SOP issued," it added.
Meanwhile, temples, mosques, gurudwaras have started preparations to open their doors for devotees again, once the decision is taken.
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari said stickers will be affixed on the floor and verandas of the mosque to ensure social distancing during namaz.
"We have also decided to discontinue using carpet on which people offer namaz at the mosque and ask people to carry their own 'musalla' (mat for offering namaz).
"We will also suggest them to do 'wuzu' (ritual ablution before namaz) and avoid using mosque tanks," Bukhari said, elaborating on steps to be taken to keep people safe from the infection.
Vinod Kumar Mishra, the administrator of the Laxmi Narayan Mandir, also known as the Birla temple, in central Delhi, said the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) staff had been sanitising the complex regularly.
(This story has not been edited by Business Insider and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)
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