Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the Centre to restrict the national capital's strict 'Red zone' lockdown norms to only containment areas and allow relaxation in other parts to ease the economic fallout on the people and the government. The whole of Delhi has been declared 'Red zone' and has several containment zones within. He said that the state will not be able to sustain the lockdown for long as the economy is in peril, unemployment is on the rise and government revenue has shrunk substantially.
"We will not be able to sustain the lockdown for long as the economy is in peril. People are losing jobs, losses are mounting on traders and businessfolks and migrant workers are leaving. The state revenue has fallen from Rs 3,500 crores in April month of previous years to Rs 300 crores this year. How will the government function and pay salaries?" Kejriwal said on Sunday.
He confidently held that Delhi is ready to lift the lockdown and has necessary resources in place to combat the novel Coronavirus. The CM said he wishes to relax prohibitions on economic activities while preparing to deal with any surge of COVID-19 cases.
"We have asked the Centre to consider sealing the 97-odd containment zones in Delhi and declare the rest as Green Zone. Allow businesses to open or have a odd-even system for markets. Cases might rise, but we are ready to deal with it," Kejriwal said, adding that it is time Delhi "learns to live with Corona" as it won't go away.
Arvind Kejriwal also stated that the Modi government's decision of lockdown on March 24 was very important, or else the situation in the country could turn horrific.
"The Center's decision of lockdown on March 24 was very important. If we had not implemented the lockdown then the situation in the country could have been horrific now. That time the country was not ready to fight COVID-19. We had no idea of social distancing, neither the people or hospitals were ready. We had no Personal Protective Equipment kits or testing kits either," the CM said.
CM Kejriwal reaffirmed that all the norms of lockdown as set by the Centre will be implemented in the city-state. Education institutions, travel through rail, metro and inter/intra-state, shopping malls, places of worship, etc. will be prohibited. The CM, however, said that those people who are self-employed like housemaids, technicians, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, sanitation workers, laundrymen, etc are allowed to work.