Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that the national Capital will begin the unlocking process from May 31, when the over a month-long lockdown is scheduled to end.
Kejriwal thanked the citizens of Delhi for helping contain the second wave of the coronavirus, which had left the health infrastructure in the city in tatters. There was a severe shortage of medical supplies such as oxygen and beds. Daily Covid-19 cases had climbed to over 28,000 in April and the positivity rate also crossed 30%.
On Friday, the chief minister said that in the last 24 hours, the positivity rate had come down to 1.5% and there were around 1,150 cases. He said beds, including in intensive care units and those with oxygen support, were available now.
“Now, this is the time to start unlocking,” he said. “It shouldn’t be that citizens are getting saved from coronavirus but dying due to hunger.”
Kejriwal said that the decision to ease restrictions was taken at a Delhi Disaster Management Authority meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
The chief minister said the government will first focus on the weakest economic sections, including labourers. He said the migrant labourers from states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar come to Delhi to earn livelihood and most of them work in factories or do construction work.
“It was decided in the meeting that two activities will be opened from Monday for one week – construction activities and factories,” he said.“Details regarding these will be mentioned in the order.”
Kejriwal said the Delhi government will open the lockdown week by week on the suggestions of citizens and the advice of experts. He warned that if cases start to rise again, the unlocking process will have to stop.
“It is my appeal to you to follow coronavirus-related norms for both things – your own safety and that economic activity can be slowly resumed,” he said. “If coronavirus [cases] start to rise again, we will have no option but to impose a lockdown again.”