New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the alarming rise in new COVID-19 cases, the Delhi government on Friday announced that all shops in markets and malls, which deal with non-essential items, will be allowed to open on an odd-even basis from 10 am to 8 pm. The Delhi government further stated that only one authorised weekly market (up to 50 per cent limit of allowed vendors at normal time) per day zone will be allowed.

"In markets and market complexes, shops are allowed between 10 AM and 8 PM on odd-even basis viz. shops would open on alternate days depending on their shop number. In malls, shops are also allowed to open on an odd-even basis viz shops would open on alternate days, depending on their shop number between 10 am to 8 pm", the DDMA order said.

"Only one authorised weekly market (up to the limit of 50 per cent of the allowed vendors at normal time) per day per zone in all three municipal corporations/ NDMC/Delhi Cantonment Board shall be allowed," the guidelines added.

The Delhi government further directed that all District Magistrates, Municipal Corporations will carry out the exercise of the numbering of all shops under their jurisdiction within 24 hours and shall ensure that shops or establishments are open strictly as per the odd-even system.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Friday asked Delhi and neighbouring districts to immediately strengthen health infrastructure, maintain buffer stocks of essential drugs and ensure that oxygen supply equipment is fully functional.

At a meeting convened to review the COVID-19 situation in the national capital and adjoining districts on Thursday, Bhalla also favoured ramping up of testing in all districts of Delhi-NCR where the number of tests is low. The home secretary stressed that the health infrastructure in all districts of Delhi-NCR should be immediately strengthened to be able to deal with any enhanced requirement.

Delhi is expected to add 17,000 cases to its coronavirus infection tally with a positivity rate of around 17 per cent on Friday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said. He said Delhi is the first to witness a surge in infections because most of the international flights come to the capital.

"That is the reason we have implemented stricter measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 as compared to other states. Some people may say that this is not needed but it is better than repenting later," Jain said.

On the World Health Organisation terming the Omicron variant of coronavirus "not mild", the minister said only experts will be able to tell if it is mild or not. "I can give you the data I have. Delhi has around 31,498 active cases and only 1,091 hospital beds are occupied. When we had an equal number of cases last time, around 7,000 beds were occupied," Jain said.

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan