NEW DELHI: On a day Delhi saw the biggest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases, with 427 new infections reported, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked residents to get used to living with coronavirus.
In a video briefing, Kejriwal announced that all the relaxations allowed by the Central government for the next phase of lockdown would be implemented. However, he added that it’s time to lift the lockdown and the Delhi government would urge the Centre that only containment areas in the city be declared as red zones and not the entire district. “Time has come to re-open Delhi…We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus,” he said.
Monday onwards, all government offices will be open while private offices can function with 33 per cent staff strength. Offices that provide essential services will function with 100 per cent staff. People travelling to the offices will not require any passes. Delhi residents will now be able to organise wedding functions and attend last rites.
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Activities in industrial areas, IT firms, hardware manufacturing and services will also be opened. Movement of people for non-essential activities will be permitted only from 7 am to 7 pm. Malls and market complexes are not allowed to function but all other shops will be opened.
“With more than one-and-a- half months’ lockdown, economic activity has come to a halt and Delhi government’s revenues have dropped significantly. “Every year in April, the estimated revenue generation is Rs 3,500 crore and this year, it’s just Rs 300 crore. It is very important that we slowly allow economic activity so that revenue generation commences, otherwise our government will not be able to pay even the salaries of staff. Delhi is ready to lift the lockdown,” the CM declared.