As COVID cases drop, Delhi announces plan to slowly reopen from May 31

Construction activities and factories allowed to resume first; government to continue to relax restrictions over the next few weeks

COVID-19
Arvind Kejriwal had announced a lockdown on April 19, a day before cases in Delhi touched a peak of over 28,000 | File Photo

Delhi is ready to gradually reopen after weathering the worst of COVID-19 second wave, which overwhelmed the healthcare system, leaving hospitals struggling to cope and critical drugs and oxygen in short supply.

Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal on Friday said the city will slowly begin unlocking from 5am on Monday May 31, with construction activities and factories allowed to resume first.

Addressing a webcast, the CM said Delhi recorded around 1,100 cases at a positivity rate of 1.5 per cent over the previous 24 hours.

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Kejriwal had announced a lockdown on April 19, a day before cases touched a peak of over 28,000. It has been extended every week since.

Also read: Be prepared for third wave of COVID-19: SC tells Centre

”The people of Delhi have cooperated, and over the past month we have managed to bring down the number of cases in the city as well as the positivity rate… It was decided in a Delhi Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal that the lockdown will slowly be lifted starting 5am on Monday,” Kejriwal said.

“We have to think about migrant workers and daily wagers first. It should not happen that we manage to escape the virus but die of hunger. Construction activities and factories will be started. We have to be very careful and can’t unlock all at once.”

The CM urged resident not to leave their homes unless necessary, and said the government will continue to relax restrictions over the next few weeks – provided the numbers remain low.

“Every week from now on, we will reopen and allow a few activities. If cases start to rise, we will have to lock down again, so please be careful. Lockdown is not something good, we don’t want it, neither do you. Please follow COVID-appropriate behaviour,” Kejriwal said.

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