Delhi Markets May Shut, Only 50 People in Capital Weddings


Workers sit on carts in the Sadar Bazar area during lockdown in New Delhi. — EPA file photo

“Unprecedented situation” has emerged in Delhi, which could worsen in coming weeks with Covid-19 cases rising to 500 cases per million population.

NEW DELHI — Amid unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that markets may be shut once again as a precautionary measure and only 50 people will be allowed in weddings not 200, as per strict norms aimed at curbing further spread of the Coronavirus.

Kejriwal was speaking to the media here two days after he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue following an unprecedented record single-day spike of 8,500 cases and overall, 51,000 cases last week.

In view of the record spike in infection, Kejriwal said the Delhi government has sent a proposal to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to permit only 50 people to attend wedding functions from here on, as against the earlier limit of 200.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has also proposed lockdowns of local market places that might emerge as Covid hotspots, The proposal has been sent to the Centre, the Chief Minister said.

“Following the central government’s guidelines and considering the marriage season, the Delhi government earlier allowed 200 guests at marriage functions. Earlier too, during initial lockdown periods only 50 guests were allowed before relaxing it to 200.

“Now considering the recent spike in the number of Corona cases, the Delhi government has decided to withdraw that relaxation.”

The Chief Minister also talked about the massive crowds witnessed in some of the popular markets of Delhi before Diwali.

In these markets, Kejriwal said, no social distancing was maintained, due to which the number of Covid-19 cases surged.

In the last order passed by the Central government, Kejriwal said, it was noted that permission to impose local lockdowns should be taken by the states.

In view of the recent situation and considering the last order of the Central government, the AAP national convenor said the Delhi government has requested the Center to permit shutting down market places if necessary.

“I do believe that such harsh measures would not be required. But, if any marketplace has become a Corona hotspot due to the non-adhering of guidelines such as no social distancing or wearing of masks, we would have to impose a local lockdown in those areas as a precautionary measure. I have already sent this proposal to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for approval.

“You can also see how all the governments are working hand-in-hand to tackle the Covid-19 situation of Delhi. I am specifically very much thankful to the central government for coming forward and helping the citizens of Delhi in this crucial time,” Kejriwal said.

Noting that there are sufficient number of corona beds but there was a dearth of ICU beds, the Chief Minister thanked the central government’s promise to provide 750 ICU beds to Delhi.

Appealed to the people here to wear masks and follow social distancing norms to protect themselves from the pandemic.

He sought the support of every city dweller here as Delhi recorded nearly 4,000 cases on Monday despite efforts of various government agencies.

“Central government, Delhi government, AIIMS, ICMR, DRDO and all the agencies are working together to tackle the corona situation of the capital. But we would not be able to combat the situation without the help of the citizens. I appeal to all of you to wear masks and follow social distancing for your family’s health.”

Kejriwal slammed people who continue to believe that they would not be affected by Covid, saying “this is a misunderstanding because the disease does not affect anybody based on whether they are rich or poor, and does not classify any person. Covid-19 can happen to anyone.”

“Unprecedented situation” has emerged in Delhi, which could worsen in coming weeks with Covid-19 cases rising to 500 cases per million population.

Delhi witnessed significantly low numbers of coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours on Monday, with latest government figures recording 3,797 new cases and pushing the national capital’s total tally to 4,89,202. — IANS

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