Delhi unlock: Restaurants to reopen with 50 per cent capacity; malls, markets to open daily

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Delhi unlock: Restaurants to reopen with 50 per cent capacity; malls, markets to open daily

NEW DELHI: Under the phased unlock process, reopening of restaurants with 50 per cent capacity and one weekly market per municipal zones will be allowed from June 14, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday.

However, certain activities and services like schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutes, political, social, cultural, religious and festival gatherings, cinemas, multiplexes, swimming pools, gyms, and public parks and gardens will remain closed, he said.

The religious places in the city will also reopen but no visitors will be allowed.

The markets, malls and market complexes allowed to reopen on odd-even basis will now open every day from 8 am to 10 pm, he said.

Kejriwal said the Covid situation in Delhi has significantly improved and the number of cases have also declined.

He, however, warned if cases increased restrictions will have to be reimposed.

The national capital recorded 213 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest in over three months, and 28 fatalities on Saturday, as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the people of Delhi, saying they have together faced the second wave of the pandemic with struggle and discipline and "succeeded in controlling it".

According to the latest health bulletin, these new fatalities pushed the death toll from COVID-19 here to 24,800.

The city reported 213 new cases on Saturday while the positivity rate dipped to 0.30 per cent, the health bulletin said.

On Thursday, the city had recorded 305 new cases with a positivity rate of 0.41 per cent, and 45 deaths, while the daily tally was 238 on Friday with 0.31 per cent positivity rate, and 24 deaths.

On March 8, Delhi had recorded 239 new cases and on March 9, the daily tally was 320, according to official data.

The infection rate, which had reached 36 per cent in the last week of April, has come down to below one per cent now.

Kejriwal on Saturday simultaneously inaugurated 22 new PSA oxygen plants at nine hospitals across Delhi to bolster the preparations of the government in anticipation of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These new oxygen plants at nine hospitals across Delhi being added today to strengthen our preparations to fight Covid," he said, adding these plants have a total production capacity of 17.3 MT, and 17 more oxygen plants will be started by July.

He also cautioned that the chances of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic were quite real, asserting that his government was preparing to combat it on a "war-footing".

Delhi had been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that had swept the country, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with the recent oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals, adding to the woes.

Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up, with over 28,000 cases and 277 deaths recorded on April 20; rising to 306 fatalities on April 22.

On May 3, the city registered a record 448 deaths, as per the official data.

However, the number of cases have shown a downward trend and the positivity rate too has been shrinking in the last several days.

The number of deaths per day has also been showing a decline in the last couple of days.

During the online event on Saturday, Kejriwal congratulated the people of Delhi, saying they have together faced the Covid second wave with struggle and discipline and "succeeded in controlling it".

On May 15, he had said, "The virus is reducing in Delhi slowly and steadily, and I hope it diminishes completely and does not rise again.

However, we are not going to become negligent in anyway", while sounding a tone of caution.

A total of 71,513 tests, including 50,766 RT-PCR tests and 20,747 rapid antigen tests, were conducted a day ago, according to the health bulletin on Saturday.

The number of cumulative cases on Saturday stood at 14,30,884.

Over 14 lakh patients have recovered from the infection.

The number of active cases decreased to 3,610 on Saturday from 3,922 a day before, according to the bulletin.

The number of people under home isolation dipped to 1,123 from 1,238 on Friday while the number of containment zones dropped to 7,062 from 8,032 a day before, the bulletin said.