Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said his government will allow shops in neighbourhoods to open after the Centre on Friday relaxed certain guidelines to permit the functioning of select shops amid the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19.
Kejriwal, however, clarified that no such relaxation will be permitted in containment zones and that no malls or shopping complexes will be allowed to operate in the Capital. Delhi has 95 containment zones.
On Friday, the Centre had issued an order relaxing lockdown guidelines to allow the functioning of select shops within and outside municipal areas, except containment zones. In a new addition to an April 15 order, the Ministry of Home Affairs exempted all shops in residential areas and market complexes in rural areas from the lockdown guidelines.
“In compliance with the Centre’s orders, we will allow standalone shops in neighbourhoods to remain open,” the Delhi chief minister said during a press briefing. “I wish to clarify that markets, malls and complexes will not be allowed to function.”
Kejriwal said that no more relaxations will be allowed in the Capital till May 3, when the nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end.
The Delhi chief minister said the Covid-19 situation in the Capital this week was slightly better than the last one. “In the last week, 850 new cases were reported and 21 people died,” Kejriwal said. “In this week, there were 622 new cases and nine deaths.”
At the press briefing, Kejriwal also appealed to the people who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma to critical patients and not think of religious differences. On Friday, Kejriwal had announced that plasma therapy trials – transfusion of plasma from a person who has recovered from Covid-19 to a patient in critical condition – had been conducted on four patients in the Capital.
“Coronavirus does not distinguish between Hindu and Muslim,” he said. The plasma from a Hindu can save a Muslim person and the blood of Muslim patient can save a Hindu patient, he added.
The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi has gone up to 2,625. Covid-19 has killed 54 people in the Capital.