Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the borders of the national Capital will be sealed for a week and only people involved in essential services and having government-approved e-passes will be allowed to travel.
The fifth phase of the lockdown to combat the coronavirus, with phased relaxations, began on Monday. The Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown until June 30 in containment zones, but permitted restaurants, malls and religious places to reopen elsewhere from June 8. While announcing this first phase of relaxations called Unlock-1, the Centre had said that there would be no restrictions on inter-state movement. But it had also allowed states to issue guidelines based on their situation. Several state governments announced relaxations on Sunday. The lockdown has been in place since March 25 and extended multiple times.
The AAP leader claimed that the moment Delhi opens its borders, people from across the country will come to Delhi for treatment. “Delhi hospitals should be reserved for the people of Delhi,” he said. He also sought the feedback of Delhiites on opening the borders with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana amid the surge in coronavirus cases in the Capital. Till Monday morning, Delhi had recorded 19,844 cases and 473 deaths.
Kejriwal added that barber shops and salons will open, but spas will continue to remain closed. He said that markets will also open without the odd-even rule. Industries can operate during the normal time, and the staggered time system is cancelled, Kejriwal added.
Referring to public transport, Kejriwal said that he was lifting restrictions imposed earlier on the number of passengers travelling in autorickshaws, e-rickshaws and other vehicles. Meanwhile, the 9 pm to 5 am curfew announced by the Central government will be enforced in Delhi.
The chief minister said that Delhi now has 9,500 beds for Covid-19 patients. “I can guarantee, as your chief minister, there will be a bed if you or someone in your family is infected [with Covid-19],” Kejriwal said, adding that there was no shortage of beds in hospitals.
On Saturday, Kejriwal had said that a permanent lockdown was not a solution, and that the Capital was “four steps ahead” of the cortonavirus in its preparations. He said that his government was making arrangements, “more than what is needed”, to combat the coronavirus.
India’s coronavirus tally rose to 1,90,535 after a record daily jump of 8,392 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Monday morning. The country also recorded 230 deaths in the 24 hours, taking the overall casualties to 5,394. India is now the seventh worst-affected country in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.