New Delhi, December 27
With a COVID-19 positivity rate surpassing 0.5% in Delhi on Sunday and a steady rise in the number of Omicron cases, traders in the city are worried because they fear their establishments may be closed under “yellow” alert, if announced by the government in the coming days.
The national capital’s business fraternity is in a state of panic as it urged the Delhi government on Monday to consider two other indicators as well – the number of new coronavirus cases and the number of occupied oxygen beds – before d ” announce a “yellow” alert.
As part of the Graduated Response Action Plan (GRAP) prepared by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in July, a “yellow” alert (level 1) will be triggered if, when the Covid positivity rate exceeds 0, 5% for two consecutive days or the number of new cases increases to 1,500 for seven days or the oxygen bed occupancy rate reaches 500 for seven days.
Brijesh Goyal, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CTI), an organization that brings together traders from different industries, said if the positivity rate also exceeds 0.5% on Monday, then the GRAP should go into effect. , under which many restrictions will be imposed on Delhi’s markets and business establishments.
“Many activities and businesses will stop as soon as the yellow alert is issued. We wrote a letter to the DDMA and asked them that the GRAP yellow alert only be applicable when 1,500 coronavirus cases are reported in Delhi.
“We also asked the DDMA to review the condition of traders before imposing restrictions under the GRAP,” Goyal told PTI.
He said that according to medical experts, although the number of Covid cases is increasing in the city, he is currently in a controlled state.
“Delhi has not registered 1,500 cases of Covid for seven consecutive days and the average bed occupancy is also not 500. In such a situation, the restrictions of the first phase of the GRAP should not be imposed. “said Goyal.
If a “yellow” alert is triggered, movie theaters, theaters, banquet halls, gymnasiums, spas and amusement parks will remain closed and markets will operate odd.
A nighttime curfew, closing schools and colleges, halving the number of seats on subways and buses, closing non-essential stores and shopping centers are also among the measures that will come into effect with a “yellow” alert.
Delhi on Monday reported 331 new cases of COVID-19 with a positivity rate of 0.68%.
The DDMA has already announced that a nighttime curfew will be imposed in Delhi from 11 p.m. on Monday, restricting the movement of individuals except those falling into exempt categories due to a growing number of coronavirus cases and of the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the virus.
The nighttime curfew will be in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. until further notice.
The Delhi Gym Association has also written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding the impending “yellow” alert and subsequent closure of gyms and spas.
There are approximately 5,500 gyms and fitness centers in the nation’s capital.
Delhi Gym Association vice president Chirag Sethi said gymnasiums will be closed first while parks, restaurants and bars will operate with 50% occupancy under a “yellow” alert.
He added that as the COVID-19 positivity rate reached 0.55% in Delhi, gym owners are in a state of panic.
“The industry has already suffered a lot in recent months. This decision will have a negative impact on her and the whole industry may well collapse. We ask the DDMA not to take into account only the positivity rate but also the total number of cases and the need for oxygen beds in Delhi, ”Sethi said.
Similar concerns were echoed by representatives of various market associations in the city.
Kamla Nagar Market Association chairman Nitin Gupta said instead of shutting down stores authorities should focus more on managing crowds and enforcing appropriate behavior at Covid.
He said the huge crowds seen in the markets are mainly due to ‘illegal’ roadside vendors, who barely follow Covid standards.
“Activity is already down and markets have suffered losses due to the pandemic. One way or another, traders survive. Authorities should consider their situation before imposing restrictions, ”Gupta said. PTI