The Delhi government will be forced to seal areas where people violate social distancing norms, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Monday, expressing concern over reports of crowding across many parts of the city — especially in front of liquor shops — on the first day of lockdown relaxations.
Addressing a webcast, Kejriwal said people should keep in mind that by indulging in such violations, they were endangering their own lives and that of their family members. The onus of ensuring social distancing also lies with shopkeepers, he said.
Governments alone cannot defeat coronavirus, he said, soliciting cooperation from people.
Kejriwal’s remarks came on a day Delhi partially re-opened after a complete lockdown that lasted over 40 days. With the entire city classified as a red zone, public transport, market complexes and malls remained shut. However, private offices opened with curtailed staff, and self-employed individuals like domestic helps and electricians returned to work.
“I was a little disappointed today. Crowds assembled in front of some shops. People violated social distancing. Who will suffer due to this? You (people) will suffer. Imagine if two-three people had corona in that crowd, you will also contract the virus and endanger not just your life, but that of your family members,” Kejriwal said.
The CM said such violations were unacceptable. He urged people to strictly follow hand hygiene, wear masks and maintain social distancing at all costs.
“No shop is going to shut down. They will open even tomorrow and the day after. But if we come across violations of social distancing anywhere, we will have to seal that area and withdraw the relaxations. We will be left with no option but to take strong measures,” he said.
The relaxations, Kejriwal said, are aimed at gradually reopening the city and restart economic activities. “For how long will we under be lockdown? It’s been one-and-a-half months already. We must act responsibly. And if there are reports of violations in a particular shop, we will seal that shop. Shopkeepers will have to take responsibility,” he added.
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