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Weekend curfew in Delhi to remain in force for now: L-G

According to sources, the L-G, rejecting the Delhi government’s proposal, said the status quo on the question of the weekend curfew and opening of markets should be maintained till there was further improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the national capital

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The weekend curfew in the city and other restrictions with regard to commercial establishments will continue to remain in force till further orders. This was decided on Friday by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal following a recommendation made to him by the Kejriwal government, which wanted lifting of the curfew and all other restrictions owing to Covid-19 cases coming down daily for a few days.

According to sources, the L-G, rejecting the Delhi government’s proposal, said the status quo on the question of the weekend curfew and opening of markets should be maintained till there was further improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the national capital.

He, however, allowed private offices to operate at their 50 percent capacity. The rest of the staff can function through the work-from-home system.

A final decision will, however, be taken at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting likely to be held next week, the sources informed. The DDMA is yet to schedule its next meeting.

Earlier during the day, the Delhi government recommended the L-G lifting of the weekend curfew and other restrictions imposed in the city on 7 January. The odd-even scheme for the opening of markets was implemented on 1 January.

The Kejriwal government had made the recommendations, arguing that Covid-19 positive cases in the city had been coming down for the past few days. It’s proposal also came following a protest by various market associations like the New Delhi Traders Association and the Sadar Bazar Traders Association.

These associations expressed the view that the curbs imposed on business operations had hit them hard and that many private-sector employees were losing their jobs.

Before this, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said in a statement, “The Covid cases in Delhi were at a peak on January 12 and the positivity rate was at 30 percent. But now, cases are reducing daily and have come to 10,500 today. Keeping in view the dip as well as people who are facing a financial crisis and losing jobs due to the restrictions, the government has decided to lift the weekend curfew, end the odd-even system in markets, and allow private offices to call 50 percent of their staff.”

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also told media persons that the coronavirus situation was under control, and the virus was the main factor behind only three of the 43 deaths reported on Thursday.

He asserted that the number of Covid-19 cases in the city today was likely to decline to 10,500 with a positivity rate between 17 and 18 percent. The city had succeeded in preventing the virus cases from rising to a dangerous level of one lakh cases daily as predicted by experts.

He had said, “We will take a call on lifting more restrictions within three or four days.”