Reiterating his earlier stand about reopening Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow economic activities in all areas except the containment zones. The third phase of the lockdown is due to end on May 17, which started on March 25 and completes its 48th day today.
During a virtual meeting with PM Modi along with other CMs on Monday, Kejriwal said, "Economic activities should be allowed to resume in all parts of Delhi except containment zones."
The PM commenced his fifth virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the states on Monday to take stock of the COVID-19 crisis. This assumes significance as the third phase of the lockdown will end on May 17. Earlier, such meetings took place on March 20, April 2, April 11, and April 27. Currently, there are 67,152 confirmed novel coronavirus cases out of which 20,917 patients have recovered while 2,206 casualties have been reported.
Last week, Arvind Kejriwal had asked the Centre to ease Delhi's lockdown norms to only containment areas and allow relaxation in other parts to ease the economic fallout on the people and the government saying it is time Delhi "learns to live with Corona" as it won't go away. 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.
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.
However, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan shot down his proposal of reopening the national capital. “On a personal level, I think a lot needs to be done to halt the spread of the coronavirus. In this lockdown 3.0, I think that minimum relaxations should be given by the Delhi government. But, this decision has to be taken by the state. Guidelines have been issued by the home ministry but the states are free to decide,” Harsh Vardhan told reporters last week.