Delhi lockdown extended till June 7; factory, construction work allowed
The Delhi government issued an order Saturday regarding the extension of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown along with some relaxations. On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that the national capital will start to "unlock" from Monday, and construction and factory-related work will resume next week. Notably, Delhi has witnessed a decline in COVID-19 cases and the daily test positivity rate.
The order, issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), directed that the existing curbs will be extended till 5 am on June 7. However, it said the reopening of certain prohibited activities in a phased manner outside containment zones is required. "Though the number of COVID-19 patients and positivity rate is declining, the situation is still precarious," the order stated.
The Delhi government has allowed the operations of manufacturing/production units within closed premises in approved industrial areas along with construction activities within their work sites starting Monday. While announcing the "unlock," CM Kejriwal had said that daily-wage laborers and migrant workers are one of the most vulnerable sections during a lockdown, hence, construction and factory-related work will be resumed first.
The order said only asymptomatic workers/employees will be allowed at the workplace. Work/business hours should be staggered to ensure physical distancing. COVID-appropriate behavior should be strictly followed. Provisions for thermal screening, hand wash/sanitizer (preferably with touch-free mechanisms) should be made at all entry/exit points. The workplace and common facilities must be frequently sanitized. Establishments in violation will likely be shut and face legal action.
Further, workers/employees will only be allowed to move with an e-pass, to be obtained by their employers through www.delhi.gov.in. District Magistrates have also been directed to ensure regular random testing and inspections at manufacturing units and construction sites.
Delhi's lockdown first came into force on April 19. At the time, Kejriwal had said the curbs would be lifted after six days. Every successive week since, the lockdown has been extended for seven days. It was even made stricter with the suspension of Delhi Metro services on May 10. All gatherings remain banned, while malls, cinema halls, restaurants (for dine-in), etc., were shut.
Delhi reported 956 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the first time in two months that infections fell under 1,000. The positivity rate stood at 1.19%. Notably, Delhi had reported record daily infections (28,395) on April 20 and a record test positivity rate (36.2%) on April 21. The caseload stands at 14,24,646 (13,035 active). The death toll also climbed to 24,073 with 122 more fatalities.