The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday decided to remove the weekend curfew and odd-even rule for shops in the national capital. The night curfew, however, will remain and schools too will be closed.
The decision was taken after a meeting chaired by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to review the Covid-19 situation in the national capital. It was discussed that the curbs will be clamped again if the situation starts deteriorating.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also present in the meeting. He pushed for lifting various restrictions so that the traders and business community get relief.
The changes will come into effect only after the order is out. The DDMA is expected to issue the order either by today evening, or Friday morning. Till then, the existing curbs will continue.
The DDMA also decided capped the number of people who can attend wedding festivals in the national capital to 200. The bars and restaurants have been directed to operate with 50 per cent of seating capacity.
The DDMA directed officials to ensure strict enforcement of Covid-19 protocols like wearing of mask and following social distancing.
Experts suggested phased reopening of the schools – for classes 9-12 in the first phase, classes 5-8 in phase 2 and for classes 3 and 4 in the third phase. But it was decided that reopening of schools will be discussed in next meeting.
There was growing clamour from traders, schools and other sections of the society to reduce the curbs in Delhi in allow activities as the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases have been falling steadily in the last few weeks.
However, the national capital saw a slight increase in the daily Covid-19 on Wednesday when 7,498 new infections were recorded. This was 1,470 more from Tuesday’s figures when 6,028 cases.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government was pushing for easing the curbs, like odd-even rule for markets, and had even sent a proposal to Baijal in this regard earlier this month. The Lieutenant Governor, however, rejected it in the wake of Covid-19 spread and advised the private offices to stagger office timing.
The Kejriwal government said that the positivity rate in the national capital in on a decline and there are lower number of hospitalisations – the two grounds it says are enough to ease the curbs in the national capital.
The positivity rate, according to Delhi health department’s bulletin, stands at 10.5 per cent.