Delhi Govt to Shut Markets Emerging as COVID Hotspots

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that his government has sought the Centre’s go-ahead to allow it to shut markets for a few days as it might emerge as COVID-19 hotspots amid a surge in the national capital.

Kejriwal’s remarks come a day after his government said that the city would not be put under another lockdown, adding that a third wave of COVID-19 had already peaked out.

The Chief Minister while briefing the media said, “Since cases are rising in Delhi, we are sending a general proposal to the Central government so that, if required, the Delhi government can shut for a few days those markets where social distancing norms are not being followed and they are on the verge of becoming local COVID-19 hotspots.”

The state is also looking at reducing the number of people allowed for public gatherings back to 50.

He further stated Delhi had allowed up to 200 people at weddings keeping intact with the Center’s guidelines but now the limit has been reduced to 50. “I have sent a proposal to the Lieutenant Governor for approval. I hope he gives permission soon,” added Kejriwal saying that he had observed people not wearing masks on Diwali or following social distancing while shopping.

“People think it (COVID-19) will not happen to them. I request you with folded hands that the Coronavirus disease can happen to anyone, and can turn fatal. Please follow social distancing,” he said.

The third wave of COVID cases started in the end of October and has since continued with record numbers each week. On November 3, the city had logged 6,725 cases, three days later it crossed the 7,000 marks. On November 11, the city saw 8,593 new cases, an all-time high. Though Delhi recorded 3,500 cases in the past two days it came with a drop in testing to under 30,000 – half of the usual. The number of daily Covid-related deaths has also increased consistently, touching 104 – highest yet – last Thursday. 

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