Updated: August 30, 2020 3:26:26 pm
With the Home Ministry announcing resumption of Metro services from September 7, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) announced that it will restart operations in a “calibrated manner”. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had proposed that government employees be allowed to avail Metro services in the first phase, tweeted that he was “glad” that operations would restart “in a phased manner”. Metro services have been shut since March 22.
DMRC said further details on usage by the general public will be shared once the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issues the standard operating procedure (SOP). The Metro has, however, drawn up guidelines based on the SOP of the ministry issued in May.
Accordingly, it has been decided so far that tokens will not be issued and cash transactions will be completely unavailable inside the Metro system, leaving commuters with no option but to use smart cards and credit cards, debit cards or digital modes for making payments.
There will be thermal screening of every passenger, and they will have to mandatorily wear masks. Inside coaches, alternate seats will have to be left vacant and a distance of one metre will have to be maintained between two persons standing.
Meanwhile, a week before the resumption of Metro services, the capital has seen an uptick in Covid cases, with 1,954 new cases on Saturday, taking the number of active cases past the 14,000 mark.
The case load recorded on Saturday was the highest since July 10, when 2,089 cases had surfaced. Bed occupancy in hospitals, which has also been steadily rising, reached 3,904, while 6,850 people are under home isolation.
Till a fortnight ago, around 3,400 beds were occupied and 5,809 people were in home isolation. Around 10,114 beds remain vacant, with the level of unoccupancy more in government-run hospitals than in private healthcare facilities.
The city had witnessed a crisis of hospital beds in early June when the daily average had breached 4,000 cases.
Subsequently, many hotels and banquet halls were attached with hospitals — an arrangement which was discontinued earlier this month due to the dip in cases. With cases rising, the Delhi government has ordered enhanced testing.
The 1,954 cases on Saturday were detected out of 16,013 rapid antigen tests and 6,920 RT-PCR tests. The CM has announced plans to test at least 40,000 samples daily.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) also issued a statement on Saturday: “As per the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under Unlock-4, the NMRC will be resuming its services on the Aqua Line for public from September 7, 2020 in a calibrated manner.”
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