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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Gurgaon malls set to reopen next week

Admin to ramp up enforcement in containment zones, identifies 20 ‘large outbreak regions’ where movement will be curbed.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon | Published: June 27, 2020 3:52:07 am
Coronavirus lockdown, mall reopen, Gurgaon malls, Gurgaon news, Indian express news Malls in Gurgaon have been shut since March 18. (Archive)

Malls in Gurgaon will reopen next week, three months after they were directed to shut amidst the coronavirus outbreak. “There is an important development we are expecting from the state government on malls. The Centre had already given directions on their reopening, as per their SOP. In the coming week, malls will be opened in Gurgaon,” said Vinay Pratap Singh, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), during a press conference Friday.

“District administration officials will check that SOPs are being followed. If they aren’t, orders will be given to close those stores or malls,” he said, adding that no directions have been received on reopening religious places.

As many as 4,944 people have tested positive in Gurgaon, of whom 3,266 have recovered and 81 have succumbed to the infection. The city saw 93 cases Friday.

Officials also dismissed reports of a second complete or partial lockdown. “The country is moving towards unlocking. In such a situation, there is no justification to impose a lockdown again in Gurgaon; the administration has no plans for this,” said Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri.

“Terms like lockdown and containment should not be used liberally… Containment zones are an established thing; lockdown is already in effect here,” he added. There are 106 containment zones in the district.

Officials from the administration said they would, in coming days, ramp up enforcement in containment zones. In an order issued Friday, the District Magistrate also identified 20 “large outbreak regions” (LORs) in eight wards, where also movement will be curbed and intensive health screening carried out.

In containment zones, Khatri said: “Better enforcement means better manning of entry and exit points, barricading, CCTV coverage, plus enforcement internally within the zones… Assistance will also be provided in health aspects in terms of intensive health screening, house-to-house survey, symptom assessment, use of rapid antigen kits, distribution of immunity kits.”

The LORs, as per the order, have been devised because despite “lockdown efforts, there still have been cases” in the district with “contact history traced to areas beyond the boundaries of containment zones”. “… It becomes imperative in public interest that measures are undertaken in certain… (LOR)… to contain further spread of the virus with a three-fold approach — reasonable restrictions on movement, intensive public health campaign and minimise adverse socio-economic fallout of these measures,” states the order.

Apart from laying out guidelines for enforcement, such as barricading, identification of entry and exit points, the order states that if movement in and out of the LOR is “unavoidable”, the person must install Aarogya Setu, thermal scanning and symptomatic screening must be done at nakas during entry and exit, and rapid testing facility during exit will also be “advisable”.

Apart from an intensive public health campaign — door-to-door screening, testing, sanitisation — the order also lays out guidelines for industries in these areas, stating that “in situ industrial activity” will be permitted but accommodation for manpower will have to be made within the LOR. Similarly, for those staying in the LOR but having to move out for work, arrangements will have to be made for accommodation outside. Only essential shops and commercial establishments will be allowed to operate in these areas. The order states that it shall come into force “from 10 am on June 30” and remain in force until July 14.

The state government Friday also issued orders to cap prices charged by hospitals for Covid treatment. According to the order, private hospitals have been divided into two categories in terms of rate of treatment — those not accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare, and those accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and NABH.

For the former, rates have been set between Rs 8,000 and Rs 15,000 — Rs 8,000 for isolation beds, Rs 13,000 for ICU without ventilator, and Rs 15,000 for ICU with ventilator.

For the latter these have been set between Rs 10,000 and Rs 18,000 per day — Rs 10,000 for isolation beds, Rs 15,000 for ICU without ventilator, and Rs 18,000 for ICU with ventilator.

Khatri said, “We will impose the orders.”

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