Amid a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Delhi, the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) issued an advisory to the market associations in the city on Thursday to put up boards saying “no mask, no entry”, according to a statement from the traders’ body.
CTI chairman Brijesh Goyal and president Subhash Khandelwal said in the statement that all the traders will have to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
“The associations should distribute circulars in their markets, always keep the staff and traders at the shops wearing masks, not allow anyone enter a commercial establishment without a mask, put up boards of ‘no mask, no entry’,” they said.
Goyal also raised a question as regards who would manage the crowd at the markets.
“The market associations do not have the legal power. The shopkeepers can follow the guidelines related to COVID-19 in their shops. However, police and the administration can control the crowd in public places. The district administration should cooperate. It is not right to put all the responsibility on the market associations,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
On Wednesday, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) directed the district magistrates to ensure that no Christmas and New Year gathering takes place in the national capital.
However, restaurants and bars will continue to operate with a seating capacity of up to 50 per cent. Marriage-related gatherings are also allowed with a maximum of 200 people in attendance.
The DDMA directed the district magistrates to identify the potential COVID-19 “super-spreader” areas ahead of Christmas and New Year.
The district magistrates and the deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) have also been directed to tighten the enforcement machinery to ensure that people follow social-distancing norms and wear masks.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the city government will increase the daily testing capacity to detect the viral disease to three lakh and strengthen the home isolation module to handle one lakh cases a day.
He said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is characterised by a fast spread and a mild infection and asked people not to panic as the city government is prepared to deal with the situation if there is an alarming surge in the number of cases.
Since those infected with the Omicron variant of the virus do not require hospitalisation in most cases, the home-isolation module is being strengthened and an agency is being hired for it, the chief minister said.