AIIMS doctor Naveet Wig has warned against resuming metro services in the national capital, amid an imminent threat that may be caused by the third wave of coronavirus pandemic. His remark comes just a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced various relaxations, allowing Delhi Metro trains to operate with 50 per cent capacity and shops in markets and malls to reopen on odd-even basis from June 7.
Dr Wig, HoD of Medicine and Chairperson of AIIMS' Task Force, advised experimenting with 33-50% occupancy in the first two weeks.
"We should not start metro immediately. For 1-2 weeks we must experiment with 33-50% (occupancy). We should go slow otherwise lid will open up & we'll not be able to suppress it. We can't eradicate this virus," Dr. Wig said.
Only half of Delhi Metro's available trains will be in service at a frequency of five to fifteen minutes on Monday when the rapid transport system resumes operation with 50 per cent seating capacity in view of improving COVID-19 situation. Accordign to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the number of trains in service will be increased in a graded manner.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has also allowed all standalone and neighbourhood shops to function, implying that liquor vends will reopen from Monday when all the new relaxations will come into force in the national capital.
However, establishments like cinemas, theatres, restaurants (except home delivery and take away), bars, gyms, spas, barber shops, salons and beauty parlours will remain closed till further orders. Any shop pertaining to entertainment and amusement services will also remain closed.
Home delivery through e-commerce platforms has also been allowed. According to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, the ongoing lockdown, which was imposed on April 19, has been extended by one more week (up to June 14).
The Covid-induced lockdown in Delhi was imposed on April 19 and successively extended by the city government. Initially, metro services were partial, catering only to people engaged in essential services. However, from May 10, the service was suspended in view of rising cases amid a second wave of the COVID-19 infection.