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Opinion

‘Saving the economy is equally important’: no ​​lockdown, says Kejriwal

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday allayed fears the government may impose another lockdown as coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases rise in the capital, saying saving the economy is equally important. to fight against Covid-19 even when he called all the parties meeting to discuss the situation of the pandemic in the city.

Kejriwal had said on Tuesday that he had asked the central government for permission to allow the Delhi government to temporarily shut down the markets, which from time to time are assessed as potential Covid-19 hot spots due to rampant violation of social distancing norms and other Covid. -19 regulations. The CM said its decision should not be seen as a move to enforce the “blockade.”

A day earlier, Delhi’s health minister, Satyendar Jain, had said that a blockade was out of the question.

Under current guidelines, states need approval from the Union Ministry of the Interior to impose any local restrictions similar to the blockade.

The dossier concerning the Delhi government’s proposal was sent to the office of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal and then he forwarded it to the Union Ministry of the Interior. A response from the Center is expected, said a senior government official.

“It shouldn’t be called a lockdown. Over the next few days, we will be watching the situation on the ground, especially the violation of Covid-19 regulations, and assessing whether any particular market may become a hot spot. It is not that we are closing markets. Saving the economy is as important to us as fighting Covid-19. We will try all means. We will not close any markets unless extremely necessary. So far, we have only requested permission, ”Kejriwal said.

Also Read: Delhi Records 131 Covid Deaths, Highest Single-Day Death Count to Date; 7,486 new cases

Senior Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia also intervened. He said: “We believe that the solution for Covid-19 lies in better management of healthcare resources and not in a blockade. We have done our best in terms of health care management so far and we would continue our efforts. If necessary, regulations would be increased in some markets. We have asked the Center for permission to do so. It shouldn’t be seen as a blockage. “

While the Delhi government has yet to define the modalities in this regard, Kejriwal’s announcement has raised concerns among traders.

Brijesh Goyal, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Due to the news of the closure in Delhi and the closure of the Delhi markets, there has been unrest among traders in Delhi. We convened a video conference today with more than 200 trader bodies and they were of the opinion that there should be no lockdown in Delhi and no market should be closed. “

Praveen Khandelwal, National Secretary General of the Confederation of All Indian Traders, said: “The Delhi CM did not consider it appropriate to speak with Delhi traders before sending a proposal to the central government yesterday, requesting permission to close the markets of India. Delhi. . It is a one-sided decision by Delhi CM which has caused much resentment among traders. The rapidly spreading Covid-19 epidemic in Delhi is cause for concern and the business community is more eager to play an active role. But certainly at this stage, instead of temporary solutions, an effective and comprehensive strategy is required. “

On Wednesday, the Delhi government issued a notice for an all-party meeting in light of the Covid-19 situation in the capital, a senior government official said.

Delhi registered 7,486 new Covid-19 cases and 131 more deaths on Wednesday, the government health bulletin said.

Also read: ‘Measures being taken to address the shortage in the number of ICU beds’: Kejriwal

“The prime minister has wished to call a meeting of all the important political parties,” said a notice issued by the additional secretary to the CM. Government spokesmen, however, did not elaborate on the agenda.

The meeting is scheduled for 11 am at the Delhi Secretariat facilities.

Opposition Leader in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said: “No further decisions should be taken until the all-party meeting is called on Thursday.”

Bidhuri, a BJP MLA, further said that he has written to LG, urging it to postpone the implementation of the 50-guest limit at wedding-related gatherings, and also asked it to delay the proposal regarding markets.

Chaudhary Anil Kumar, President of the Delhi Congress, said: “The Congress will participate in the all-party meeting and present suggestions that would contribute to the fight against Covid-19.”

Hindustan Times

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