With Delhi recording the lowest ever number of COVID cases since April last year, the government has decided to ease the timing curbs that were in place to contain the infection. "In wake of decreasing cases, this restriction (on shop timings) will be removed starting Monday. Now the markets can open as per their normal time," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday.
This has come as a huge relief for traders and businesses that have been reeling under the pandemic-induced lockdowns and restrictions. The Delhi CM's announcement comes on a day when the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) demanded that the closing time of malls and markets in the national capital should be extended from the present 8 pm to 10 pm.
Markets of Delhi were allowed to function till 8 pm in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.
In its letter to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), the CTI said the permission to operate shops till 8 pm is proving to be insufficient for most of the retail markets, especially during the festive season.
We are getting suggestions from many markets, including those in Kamla Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Connaught Place, Sarojini Nagar, South Extension, Rajouri Garden, Laxmi Nagar, Rohini, Pitampura, Greater Kailash, and Karolbagh, to increase the closing time, it said.
On Saturday, Delhi recorded zero death for the second consecutive day, while the number of fresh cases reported were just 19, the lowest since April 15 last year. As a result, the positivity rate dropped to 0.03 per cent, according to the latest bulletin.