Monday, August 2, 2021

Shops, malls, restaurants to reopen in Delhi

Shops, malls and restaurants in Delhi will open from Monday 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.

Shop timings will remain the same, from 10 am to 8 pm, Mr Kejriwal said.

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.

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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.

Schools, colleges and educational Institutions will remain shut.

“If the cases of infection keep decreasing in the current manner, then our life will gradually come back on track. It is a great tragedy and we all have to face it together,” Mr Kejriwal told the media.

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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.

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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.

Kejriwal has since underscored the need for caution in the unlock process, declaring that the hard-fought gains made over the last weeks should not be squandered.

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