Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday warned people that his government will revoke relaxations allowed amid the Covid -19 lockdown if they do not adhere to physical distancing guidelines. His warning came after locals in some parts of the Capital crowded liquor stores, forcing them to shut down.
“I felt sad after seeing that some people did not follow social distancing guidelines at shops,” Kejriwal said during a press briefing via video. “They are harming themselves and their families. If social distancing is not taken care of, we will not back down from closing shops.” The chief minister also warned that the government will seal areas where people are not following proper guidelines.
Kejriwal appealed to the people to follow the government’s guidelines responsibly. “Economic activities have to be restarted, we cannot live under the lockdown forever,” he said. “I urge the people to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe.”
The chief minister said that the government needs the people’s support to win the fight against Covid-19. “We have to beat Covid-19 like we fought dengue in 2015,” he said. “Please ensure that you wear masks at all times, observe social distancing and keep your hands clean.”
The Delhi government has allowed certain relaxations, in line with the staggered lifting of lockdown restrictions across the country. All government offices have been allowed to open from Monday. Weddings with 50 guests and funerals with 20 people will be allowed. E-commerce activities are only allowed for essential commodities and standalone shops in neighbourhoods are allowed to remain open.
Over 150 government-run liquor shops had been permitted to stay open in the Capital between 9 am and 6 pm, following the Centre’s latest guidelines. The police, however, ordered the shutdown of all liquor shops in East Delhi, Northeast Delhi, Shahdara and Southwest districts on Monday, after a vendor failed to maintain physical distancing.
Delhi has been classified a Covid-19 red zone or a hotspot. The Capital has reported 4,549 cases of the coronavirus and 64 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Across India, 42,836 cases have been reported and 1,389 people have died.