Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that markets in the Capital will be allowed to remain open as per their regular timings from Monday.
“Because of the coronavirus, markets in Delhi were till now allowed to remain open till 8 pm,” Kejriwal said in a tweet. “Due to the reducing number of cases, these restrictions are being lifted. Now, markets can remain as per their normal timings.”
The relaxations will apply to all shops, including the ones located in shopping complexes and malls, NDTV reported. Further, restaurants have been permitted to remain open beyond 10 pm.
Delhi on Saturday reported 19 new cases of coronavirus, the lowest since April 15, 2020. The city has not recorded any deaths due to the coronavirus for two consecutive days on Friday and Saturday.
This is the twelfth time since the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus that Delhi has reported zero fatalities in a 24-hour time span.
The Delhi chief minister made the announcement two weeks after the city’s Chamber of Trade and Industry exhorted the government to allow markets and malls to stay open till 10 pm.
In a letter to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on August 7, the CTI had said that if shops were allowed to remain open till late in the evening, there would be no crowding, according to PTI. “Everyone will be able to do their work comfortably,” the letter said. “Corona rules will also be followed well.”
Delhi had suffered a severe second wave of Covid-19 in April and May. During that period, the city frequently saw shortages of medical oxygen and hospital beds; and many people had put out SOS calls for these on social media.
From April 19 to May 30, Delhi was under a stringent lockdown because of the second wave. The Delhi government allowed markets to reopen from June 7 under a phased reopening plan.
In July, the Delhi government had ordered the closure of several market areas on account of violations of Covid-19 protocols. These included markets in Janpath, Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, and parts of Sadar Bazar and Karol Bagh.