The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has ordered curfew on Friday night from 10 am to 5 am due to the fast growing COVID-19 cases in Delhi. This weekend curfew will take place every week until the next order. After reviewing the situation, DDMA said today that all malls, gyms, auditoriums, amusement parks etc. in the national capital will remain closed till April 30.
The Authority said that COVID-19 infection is increasing daily in the National Capital Region of Delhi and the pace of infecting new people is also increasing. In view of this, curfew on weekends became mandatory. All public use spaces have been closed and theaters, theaters and multiplexes allowed to operate with only 30 per cent capacity. Restrictions have also been placed on opening of markets in the entire city. According to the order, under the three municipal corporations of the national capital, only one weekly market will be opened in each region. But it has not been told on which day the market will open. This has left traders and shopkeepers in a dilemma. DDMA said that only the Regional Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Corporation will decide on which day the market will open.
The General Secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders, Praveen Khandelwal, said that the decision to open a particular market on a particular day is one-sided. He said that this has led to confusion among traders and shopkeepers, but it will not be very effective in curbing coronavirus. Khandelwal said that everything should have been stopped by putting a lockdown for 10 days in Delhi to stop the spread of the virus.
It is also not clear whether markets such as Connaught Place or South Extension will open on common days of the week. But Retailers Association of India (RAI) chief executive Kumar Rajagopalan said that curfew on weekends would hurt the business of retailers by 40-45 per cent. Rajagopalan said, “It will not be easy to make up for the loss of business on weekends on normal days of the week.”
Leading mall companies did not say anything about the government’s decision, but sources said that keeping everything closed for two weeks would worsen their financial condition. The malls opened in June last year, but the majority of Delhi’s malls have less than 70 per cent of its population. Consumer durables and electronics companies say that if the stores remain open during the rest of the week, their business will not be affected much.