New Delhi: The Delhi Disaster management Authority (DDMA) Friday allowed private offices to function with physical attendance of 50 per cent of the staff in view of the decline in COVID-19 cases but maintained that the weekend curfew and other restrictions such as the odd-even rule for opening of shops in markets will continue.
Noting that the pandemic “is under control”, the Delhi government had earlier in the day proposed lifting the weekend curfew and ending the odd-even rule for opening shops, but Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal directed that status quo be maintained on the restrictions till the situation improves further.
The LG office, however, approved the government’s proposal to allow private offices to reopen with 50 per cent of the staff.
“It has been observed that as the number of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate are witnessing a decline, some prohibitions or restrictions may be revised in areas outside the containment zones. Therefore, all private offices shall be allowed to function with up to 50 per cent of attendance with immediate effect in Delhi (outside of containment zones),” a DDMA order said.
The DDMA, however, advised the private offices to follow the practice of work from home as far as possible and stagger the office timing to ensure social distancing at workplace.
The order clarified that other prohibited and restricted activities, including weekend curfew, odd-even rule for opening of shops, no dining services at restaurants, shall remain unchanged and will be in force till further order.
Traders bodies opposed the DDMA’s decision to continue with the weekend curfew and the odd-even rule for opening of shops.
The weekend curfew is implemented at 10 pm Friday and continues till Monday 5 am. A night curfew during weekdays is already in place from 10 pm to 5 am.
“These restrictions were imposed when cases were high. On January 12 the number of Covid cases was above 28000 and positivity rate was also around 31 per cent. But now cases are around 10,500 and positivity rate is around 17 per cent,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said earlier in the day.
“Now since the cases are going down and it also seems that the peak has gone we want to ensure that the public’s livelihood continues smoothly. We have proposed to do away with weekend curfew and also with the odd-even arrangement of opening of shops in markets,” he added.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also asserted that the danger of COVID-19 has subsided in the national capital and the situation is “quite under control”.
He also said that the virus was the primary cause of death in only three of the 43 fatalities recorded the previous day.
The daily number of Covid cases and the positivity rate have witnessed a decline in the past few days.
Delhi on Thursday reported 12,306 fresh COVID-19 cases and 43 fatalities, with the positivity rate dipping to 21.48 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.
The city had recorded 28,867 Covid cases with 29.21 positivity rate on January 13, the sharpest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number then declined to 24,383 on Friday, 20,718 on Saturday, 18,286 on Sunday, 12,527 on Monday, and 11,684 on Tuesday last week.