New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday asked the Central government to allow shutting down several crowded markets in the national capital, which are becoming a local COVID hotspot, in wake of the current spurt in the coronavirus across the city. 

"Since cases are rising in Delhi, we are sending a general proposal to Central Govt, that if required, Delhi Govt can implement shutting down those markets for few days, where norms are not being followed & they are becoming a local COVID-19 hotspot", Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said as quoted by news agency ANI. 

The chief minister further thanked the Centre for increasing ICU beds immediately in Delhi hospitals and said that the government and other agencies have doubled up their efforts but it will only achieve desired results when the people take necessary precautions. 

"I am thankful to Central govt for helping Delhi people by increasing 750 ICU beds immediately. All governments & agencies have doubled their efforts to control #COVID19 but it can't be done till people take precautions. I appeal all to wear masks & follow social distancing", Kejriwal added.

Arvind Kejriwal also said that the government has also sent a proposal to the Delhi LG for reducing the number guests at marriage ceremonies again to 50 people from 200, which was increased earlier this month.

"But now we have decided to go back to the earlier limit of 50 people. I have sent a proposal to the Lieutenant Governor for approval. I hope he gives permission soon," Arvind Kejriwal said.

"People think it (COVID-19) will not happen to them. I request you with folded hands that the Coronavirus disease can happen to anyone, and can turn fatal once it infects you. Please follow social distancing. People didn't wear a mask during Diwali, didn't follow social distancing while shopping," he added.

"I hope the crowd in the markets will thin out and there will be no need to lock them down", he said, adding that "if violations of mask-wearing and social distancing are witnessed and there is a chance of these markets becoming local coronavirus hotspots, these could be shut down as a preventive measure for some days".

Kejriwal's remarks came a day after Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said there was no chance of reimposition of lockdown in the national capital since the third wave of the coronavirus has peaked out in the city. Jain had also said the virus cannot be contained through a lockdown and that people should protect themselves by wearing face masks.

Delhi has witnessed a spurt in novel coronavirus cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on Wednesday.

On Thursday, 104 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest in over five months, were recorded in the city. On Monday, Delhi recorded 3,797 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 4.89 lakh, even as 99 new fatalities pushed the toll to 7,713.

Posted By: Talib Khan