Updated: May 29, 2021 11:58:29 am
Nearly six weeks into the lockdown forced by the second wave of Covid-19, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Friday that construction activities and factories will be allowed to reopen Monday onward as part of a gradual unlocking process.
Delhi has seen a gradual but consistent dip in the number of cases reported per day over the past two weeks. On Friday, 1,141 cases were seen at a positivity rate of 1.59%. This was marginally higher than the 1,072 cases Thursday when the positivity rate was 1.53%.
Delhi announced a lockdown on April 19, a day before cases touched a peak of over 28,000 and when the positivity rate was above 30%. It has been extended every week since.
On Friday, during a webcast, Kejriwal said, “During unlocking, we have to take the utmost care of those who belong to the lower sections of the society, that is labourers, daily wage workers and migrant labourers. Labourers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and neighbouring states come to Delhi to earn their livelihood, they live on daily wages and in dire conditions. Such workers are found mostly in construction activities and factories.”
“So today it was decided in the meeting that both these activities will be opened up from Monday when this lockdown gets over at 5 am, and for the next one week, construction activities and factories will remain open,” he said.
Under lockdown conditions, essential activities personnel and associated staff were allowed to travel. Offices, factories and construction largely remained shut. Relaxations were extended to government staff, healthcare workers and media persons. Special e-passes were issued for those working in grocery stores, engaged in delivery of food, restaurant staff (only delivery), courier services etc.
The decision to unlock was taken in a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, chaired by Lt-Governor Anil Baijal Friday morning. Kejriwal said the decision to unlock gradually was unanimous.
“We will start the process of opening the lockdown slowly and steadily. With great effort and with great difficulty, the Coronavirus situation has come under control somewhat. But the battle has not been won yet. We should not lose the gains of the previous lockdown by suddenly opening up. It is a unanimous belief amongst experts that the lockdown be opened up slowly and steadily,” he said.
New relaxations will be introduced weekly but he cautioned that restrictions could be imposed again if cases started rising. “Week after week, based on public suggestions and expert’s opinion, we will continue the unlock procedure, if Covid cases do not increase any further. If we see that cases are increasing, we will have to halt the unlock procedure. Therefore, it is my request to everyone to follow the Covid-protocols necessary for both your safety, your family’s safety, for your health, for your life,” he said.
“If everyone observes precautions, only then can more economic activities open up. We do not want to impose a lockdown and we are not in favour of it. Please do not step out of your homes unnecessarily,” he said.
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