Implying that it’s impossible to lift the lockdown at this stage where India has crossed the 70K mark, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday sought views from Delhiites on how to ease the curbs after May 17.
According to a health bulletin, with 406 fresh instances, the total number of coronavirus cases has crossed 7,639 while the death toll has risen to 86. He said:
I want to know from the people of Delhi whether or not relaxations should be offered. Lockdown can’t be lifted altogether. To what extent should we offer relaxation? In which areas? Should buses or the Metro be allowed to operate? Should autos and cabs be allowed? Should schools, markets, industrial areas be opened? We need your ideas on what all should remain under lockdown and what should be reopened.
Seeking suggestions from people to ease the curbs, Kejriwal said people can send their views by calling toll-free number 1031 or through WhatsApp number 8800007722, or by sending an email to email@example.com by 5 pm Wednesday.
Delhi government received around three lakh messages on WhatsApp within seven hours as well as 25,000 recorded messages on the 1031 helpline and 5,000 emails.
“On one hand, we will have to save ourselves from coronavirus. But on other, we will also have to maintain the health of the economy,” Kejriwal told an online media briefing. Earlier this month, he had said people will have to be ready to live with coronavirus.
Kejriwal, who was addressing a media conference digitally, said his government is also engaging with experts and doctors to get a holistic view on services that could resume and those that would have to shut after May 17. The appeal to citizens from the CM comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all chief ministers to submit lockdown exit plans for their respective states by May 15.
During the PM’s video conference with all chief ministers on Monday, the Delhi CM had appealed to Modi to categorise only the containment zones, not all the 11 revenue districts of the city, as “red zones”.
Delhi had 78 containment zones as on Tuesday where relaxations such as opening of standalone shops and industries, movement of people in private vehicles, entry of self-employed persons such as electricians and plumbers is not allowed.
These activities are allowed in the rest of the city, which has been otherwise categorised as a red zone by the Centre.
As of now, one of the ideas under consideration is staggering the timings of shops. Another is to introduce an odd-even system for opening shops. But, all these are just possibilities. We will get a final picture once the suggestions come in and the consultations with experts are held.