The process of lifting the lockdown gradually in the capital will begin from today, starting with the resumption of construction activities and the reopening of factories for a week. In an earlier announcement, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the phase-wise unlocking process in Delhi will begin after over six weeks of lockdown enforced in view of the second wave of COVID-19. Noting that Delhi somehow gained control over the second wave of COVID-19 with the positivity rate coming down to 1.5 per cent, the chief minister said the fight against the deadly disease has not ended yet.
Kejriwal had also stressed that if cases start rising again, the unlock process will have to be stopped. The chief minister said it is time to start the unlock process. However, he cautioned that it should not be the case that people escape coronavirus but die of hunger.
"We have to maintain a balance between controlling the spread of COVID-19 and allowing economic activities," Kejriwal said during an online press briefing.
"At a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday, it was decided that the lockdown be lifted gradually. In this process, we have to take care of the lowest strata first, daily wagers, labourers, migrant workers who come to Delhi from far off areas in search of livelihood."
"Keeping this in mind, it has been decided to open factories and allow construction activities for one week from Monday," he said, adding that the government will continue the unlock process every week based on the opinion of experts and the public.
However, if the cases start rising again, we will have to stop the unlock exercise, he added and appealed to the people to not step out unless it is absolutely necessary.
Delhi on Sunday recorded 946 fresh COVID-19 cases and 78 deaths while the positivity rate stood at 1.25 per cent, according to a health department bulletin. This is the first time in nearly a month-and-a-half that daily deaths in the national capital have fallen below 100.
The city had recorded 81 deaths on April 13.
With the fresh cases and deaths, Delhi's COVID-19 tally stands at 14,25,000 and the toll at 24,151, the bulletin stated.
As the second wave of the pandemic spread across the country, Delhi began witnessing a rise in daily cases and deaths from April 19. It had reported its highest single-day spike of 448 deaths on May 3.
However, the number of cases and deaths has shown a declining trend over the last several days.
The fatality rate in Delhi stands at 1.69 per cent, the bulletin said.
There are 12,100 active cases in the national capital. As many as 5,300 people are undergoing treatment at hospitals and Covid care centres and 5,817 are in home isolation, it said.