Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said Delhi was ready to face the COVID-19 threat.
“We will have to learn to live with the virus,” said the Chief Minister, stressing that the nationwide lockdown had prepared the people, the government and the hospitals to deal with the crisis.
Announcing extension of the lockdown by two more weeks, Mr. Kejriwal said the Union government had declared Delhi a “red zone” and his government would permit all the relaxations that the Centre has allowed. He had requested the Centre to declare the 97 containment zones in Delhi as red zones and all other parts as green zones.
“The threat of COVID-19 is something that we will have to learn to live with. We cannot say that coronavirus will leave our nation or we will have no corona cases further,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister said that all the guidelines had been followed until now, but people were losing their employment, traders were suffering losses and the whole economy was disturbed. “We will not be able to continue like this for long,” the Chief Minister said.
He said that every year in April, the estimated revenue generation in the Capital was ₹3,500 crore, and this year, it was ₹300 crore, making it difficult for the government to pay salaries.
Listing some of the restrictions that would be lifted, Mr. Kejriwal said all government offices would open on May 4, with 100% attendance in those providing essential services, and 33% in other offices.
In the private sector, offices would open with 33% of staff on duty.
The Chief Minister said self-employed people such as plumbers, technicians and domestic helps could start work and industrial estates would also open.
He said the lockdown was necessary as it helped control the situation.
“The country was not ready to deal with COVID-19, there were insufficient PPE kits, people did not realise the importance of social distancing protocol, but now Delhi is ready to open the lockdown as it used the time well to prepare,” the Chief Minister said.