The famous Chandni Chowk market in the old Delhi and the wholesale markets in the national capital will remain shut till April 25. The decision was taken by traders and associations in view of unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases.
Several market associations have supported the decision to keep shops closed. Delhi Kirana Committee of Khari Baoli Market and Chemical Merchant Association of Tilak Bazaar have announced that shops will remain closed till April 21.
Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal's Sanjay Bhargava said that an emergency meeting was called on Sunday to discuss the prevailing situation. It was decided that shops will remain closed till April 25 in light of "very serious condition of the virus spreading at very large volumes".
"We will take a decision after assessing the condition next Sunday," Sanjay said.
Earlier, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) wrote to Anil Baijal and Arvind Kejriwal, urging them to impose a lockdown in Delhi for next 15 days.
Delhi on Sunday recorded the biggest jump in its daily COVID-19 tally with 25,462 fresh cases, while the positivity rate shot up to 29.74 per cent -- meaning almost every third sample being tested in the city is turning out to be positive. Authorities reported 161 deaths due to the disease in the last 24 hours. A day ago, 24,375 COVID-19 cases and 167 deaths were reported in the city.
As the situation turned serious every passing hour, Kejriwal on Sunday said that Delhi is facing acute shortage of oxygen for COVID-19 patients and alleged the quota of the city has been "diverted" to other states. He also shot off letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal urging them to ramp up bed capacity in central government-run hospitals and to ensure uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen. He said less than 100 ICU beds are available in hospitals in the capital.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has directed all nursing homes and private hospitals providing COVID-19-related treatment to reserve at least 80 per cent of their ICU and ward bed capacity for coronavirus patients.
In another related development, the city government on Monday deployed two teams of officers to monitor procurement and supply of oxygen and the Remdesivir drug amid a shortage of both following an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.