The Delhi government would have to lock down the national capital if needed, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday (March 21), in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
During his first-ever digital-only press conference, Kejriwal said restrictions due to COVID-19 were causing terrible financial stress to the poor. The government has also reduced the size of social, religious and political gatherings to not more than five persons.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 21, 2020
“We are not doing a lockdown currently, but we might in future if necessary for your betterment and safety,” Kejriwal said. He also appealed to people to discontinue morning walks for some time.
The chief minister announced those receiving ration from fair-price shops would get 50 per cent extra for next month, and also doubled the pension for widows, differently-abled and elderly for this month.
“₹4,000-5,000 pension will be paid to 8.5 lakh beneficiaries by April 7,” he said. “72 lakh people in Delhi get ration from fair price shops. Ration per person being increased by 50 per cent. It will be provided free,” the chief minister said.
Kejriwal said only 50 per cent buses would ply on roads in Delhi during the ‘janata curfew’ on Sunday. “We are extremely concerned about daily wagers, labourers amid coronavirus crisis; don’t want anyone to go hungry,” he said, adding food would be provided for homeless in night shelters.
Delhi has so far reported 26 confirmed cases, including one death, according to the union health ministry.
(With inputs from agencies)