Hundreds of gym owners staged a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Saturday.
They were raising slogans against the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) decision to keep fitness centres shut despite a decline in COVID-19 cases in the city.
The protesters started their march from Chandgi Ram Akhara to Mr. Kejriwal’s residence but were stopped by the police after a few minutes.
“We took out the march to make the government and the Lieutenant-Governor realise the plight of gym owners and others engaged in this business,” said Delhi Gym Association (DGA) president Chirag Sethi. “The fitness industry has already suffered a lot due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years. Not allowing our establishments to reopen will prove to be a death warrant for our businesses,” he said.
The DGA had on Friday announced that gym owners and members would stage a protest near the L-G’s residence but they were not granted permission.
Mr. Sethi had earlier said the DDMA’s decision to keep gyms shut was affecting the livelihood of over 1 lakh people. There are around 5,500 gyms in the city, he had said.
The downward trend of COVID-19 cases continued in the city on Saturday with test positivity rate falling to 7.41% from 8.60% a day earlier, according to a Delhi government bulletin. The positivity rate had peaked on January 14 at 30.64%.
4,483 fresh cases
The number of new COVID-19 cases over 24 hours increased to 4,483 from 4,044 on Friday due to an increase in the number of tests. The number of tests increased to 60,532 from 47,042, a day earlier.
Twenty-eight new deaths were reported, taking the toll to 25,797, as per the bulletin. Of the total 15,428 hospital beds for COVID-19, 88.5% were vacant.
On January 13, 28,867 fresh cases were reported in the city, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.