The Delhi government on Friday proposed lifting the weekend curfew and ending the odd-even scheme for opening shops in view of the COVID-19 situation but Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal directed that status quo be maintained on the restrictions till the situation is better in the national capital.
The LG office, however, approved the government's proposal to allow private offices to function with 50 per cent staff strength, official sources said. Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the decision to ease the restrictions was taken in view of declining number of Covid cases in the city and also to ensure that livelihood of the public is not affected.
“Now since the cases are going down and it also seems that the peak has gone we want to ensure that the public's livelihood continues smoothly. We have proposed to do away with weekend curfew and also with the odd-even arrangement of opening of shops in markets. "We have also proposed to allow functioning of private offices with 50 per cent staff. All these changes will be implemented once this proposal is approved by the L-G,” Sisodia said in a virtual press conference here.
Traders in many parts of the city have demanded lifting of the curbs including those imposed on shops selling non-essential items on alternate days based on the odd-even system. The weekend curfew is implemented at 10 pm Friday and continues till Monday 5 am. It will be done away with if the LG grants permission to the Delhi government's proposal.
The DDMA had also imposed other restrictions including closure of all private offices dealing with non-essential services. A night curfew during weekdays is already in place from 10 pm to 5 am. The daily number of Covid cases and positivity rate has witnessed a decline in the past few days. “These restrictions were imposed when cases were high. On January 12 the number of Covid cases was above 28000 and positivity rate was also around 31 per cent. But now cases are around 10,500 and positivity rate is around 17 per cent,” Sisodia said.
Delhi on Thursday reported 12,306 fresh COVID-19 cases and 43 fatalities, with the positivity rate dipping to 21.48 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department. The city had recorded 28,867 Covid cases with 29.21 positivity rate on January 13, the sharpest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic. The number then declined to 24,383 on Friday, 20,718 on Saturday, 18,286 on Sunday, 12,527 on Monday, and 11,684 on Tuesday last week.
With inputs from PTI.