Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced certain relaxations in the fourth phase of coronavirus lockdown in accordance with the Centre's guidelines.
Auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws will be allowed to carry only one passenger, while taxis and cabs will be allowed with only two passengers, and buses will operate in Delhi with not more than 20 passengers at a given point of time.
Kejriwal said, in a statement, that lockdown is not a permanent solution for coronavirus and relaxations have to be announced to revive the economy.
Addressing a digital conference in Delhi, he added, "The fourth phase of the lockdown is starting. There has been a nationwide lockdown since the last 45 days because of Corona. People have dedicatedly followed the norms of the lockdown, have suffered because of Corona, and I am sure that we will together defeat Corona.”
“Delhi has had 10,054 cases until now, out of which 4,485 cases have recovered, which means 45% of the people have recovered. Unfortunately, 160 people have lost their lives due to Corona, but if we compare the statistics to other states in India and abroad, the death rate is quite low.”
“Corona is not going to get over soon until a vaccine is obtained, and we have to learn to live with Corona. Lockdown is not a permanent solution, and the Delhi government has used the lockdown time to prepare for Corona.”
“When Corona first came to India, we were not prepared. We did not have enough testing kits, not enough hospital setups, we were unaware of how to deal with the situation. In the last 2 months, we have prepared dedicated COVID hospitals, arranged beds, ventilators, testing, and PPE kits."
Kejriwal added that the government has to move towards opening the states' economy.
On Sunday, the central government had issued certain guidelines on the lockdown. Based on those guidelines, the Delhi government has decided to impose relaxations in many areas, he added.
According to the statement, the lockdown will continue till May 31 in accordance with the directions of the central government, but many relaxations will also be given under this phase of the lockdown.
Metros, educational institutions such as schools and colleges, coaching, and training institutes will remain closed.
Shopping malls, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls will also remain closed.
Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, and other gatherings will not be allowed, it said.
Besides religious places and places of worship, barbershops, spas, and salons will remain closed.
Curfew timings in the city will be from evening 7 PM to morning at 7 AM, except for essential services.
Senior citizens above the age of 65, young children below the age of 10, pregnant women, and people with comorbidities such as heart diseases and diabetes should remain under strict lockdown because they are at a high risk of contracting Corona, the chief minister warned.
First Published: IST