Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday assured the residents of the national Capital that there will be no shortage of essential items as India began the 21-day lockdown over coronavirus outbreak. The lockdown is being seen as the only way to break the chain of infection.
“There is no need to panic,” said Kejriwal as he addressed the media along with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijlal. “After PM [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi’s speech yesterday people started lining up at shops for essential services. I again appeal to people to not do panic buying, I assure everyone that there will be no shortage of essential services.”
Kejriwal said the Delhi government will issues passes for those providing essential services. “E-passes will be provided to those who need to open their shops and factories for these services,” he added. Section 144 is in place in the entire city and its borders are also shut. All non-essential travel is prohibited. All non-essential services and establishments, both private and public, have been closed.
Kejriwal said it is a difficult time for everyone. “We are not saying there will not be problems, but we will do our best to make sure everyone is looked after,” the chief minister added, according to NDTV. He also promised that people providing essential services like those in healthcare and journalism would not be stopped from carrying out their duties. However, he reminded everyone in essential services to carry their identity cards with them.
The chief minister shared a helpline number to reach out to the police commissioner. “If you face any difficulty you can call at this number: 23469536.”
Lieutenant Governor Baijlal said they wanted “minimum inconvenience” to the public while ensuring effective implementation of the lockdown. “During the lockdown we would assure that essential supplies are maintained,” he added. He promised that no one will sleep hungry in the city and said free meals were being provided by the Delhi government at “rain baseras [night shelters]”.