WITH THE Capital breaching the 20,000-mark in daily cases last week and the positivity rate continuing to rise, the Delhi government has ordered the closure of all private offices, barring those listed in the exempted category.
“The practice of work from home shall be followed,” said an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). On Monday, all restaurants and bars were ordered to shut dine-in services, with only takeaway and home delivery services allowed.
While all government offices, except essential and emergency services, shifted to work from home last week, private offices were allowed to function with 50% of their staff strength.
Private offices that are allowed to remain open include banks, companies providing essential services like pharma companies, telecom services, petrol pumps, transport of cargo, aviation services, RBI-regulated entities, offices of advocates, and courier services.
On Tuesday, the city reported 21,259 new cases, 23 deaths and a positivity rate of 25.65%. Officials said most of the people who died had other diseases like cancer and liver disease, but would be counted as Covid deaths since they had tested positive.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reiterated that “there is no plan to impose any lockdown in Delhi” and restrictions will be lifted as the case count starts to fall.
“There is no plan to impose any lockdown in Delhi. We are imposing these restrictions out of compulsion as we have no choice. This is being done only for your safety. If we impose restrictions, the livelihood of people will be affected; and if we don’t, then cases will increase and the public will face problems. So, keeping both these scenarios in mind, we are moving gradually with striking a balance between both restrictions and public safety. I assure you that all these restrictions will be gradually removed once the cases come down,” he said.
The decision to shut private offices was taken on Monday at the DDMA meeting headed by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Kejriwal.
“The Covid situation in Delhi has been reviewed in the DDMA meeting… and it has been observed that the number of Covid-19 cases (including the cases of Omicron variant) has been rapidly increasing over the last few days and positivity rate has crossed 23%,” the DDMA said in its order.
“Therefore, it has been felt necessary that some more additional restrictions are imposed in Delhi to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus, including the highly contagious and transmissible Omicron variant… All private offices shall be closed, except those which are falling under the exempted category. The practice of work from home shall be followed,” it said.
The list of offices exempted from these restrictions includes:
# Private banks
# Offices providing essential services such as pharmaceutical services, restaurants, telecom services, transport of cargo, aviation services etc
# RBI regulated entities
# Non-banking financial institutions
# Micro finance institutions
#Offices of advocates
# Courier services