Sat, 31 Jul 2021

New Delhi [India], June 13 (ANI): Shopkeepers have welcomed the Delhi government's move to open all markets from Monday adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

For the past one week, shops were open in Delhi on an odd-even basis only. Now, all shops are allowed to open by adhering to COVID-19 rules. As Covid-19 cases further dip in Delhi, all markets will reopen from tomorrow as part of phased unlock plan in the national capital.

"We're happy that odd-even system has ended and all shops can open from Monday after 2-month long lockdown," said Sachin, a shopkeeper at Khan MarketRajesh, who has a footwear shop in Sarojini Nagar market, expressed hope for more footfall as his business hit badly after the lockdown was imposed in April at the peak of the second wave.

"We are happy that the government permitted shops to reopen after COVID-19 lockdown. Customers have started coming to market. We are hoping for more footfall," he told ANI.

Another shopkeeper, Rajesh Kumar, who was selling garments at his shop in Sarojini Nagar market said: "We thank the Delhi government for removing the odd-even system. Both customers and shopkeepers are happy. Also, we make sure that our shop does not get overcrowded to avoid COVID."However, people thronged markets thereby flouting COVID-19 guidelines. Many persons were seen flouting social distancing norms today at the Sarojini Nagar market.

As part of the phased unlock plan, Delhi restaurants will reopen from Monday with 50 per cent seating capacity"With only delivery and takeaways, our business didn't fare well. Hope to recover the losses as restaurants reopen for dining," said Ramesh, manager of a restaurant in Mahavir Enclave.

Saurav Jain, the owner of a sweet shop in Mahavir Enclave, said that he hopes to compensate for the lost business.

"Although takeaways and delivery were operational, it didn't benefit us. A restaurant has several expenses including bills and salaries. We hope to compensate for the lost business," he said.

However, the Delhi Government allowed religious places to open from tomorrow, sans devotees.

Kalkaji Temple head priest said, "This decision is impractical and meaningless. What's the point of opening religious places without devotees. They are opening markets but not allowing people in temples."Fresh COVID-19 infections in Delhi continue to remain under 300 for the third straight day as the city added 255 cases in the last 24 hours and recorded a positivity rate of 0.35 per cent.

However, Delhi's witnessed a slight increase in daily Covid cases as only 213 fresh infection cases were registered on Saturday. According to the Delhi government's health bulletin, 23 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, pushing the toll to 24,823. The case fatality rate stands at 1.73 per cent.

The odd-even system in the markets and malls of the national capital will end and all shops will be allowed to open simultaneously from tomorrow, announced Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday. (ANI)

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