All malls in Delhi will remain closed amid scare over coronavirus or COVID-19, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, adding that grocery, pharmacy and vegetable shops in them will remain open.
"In view of the prevailing situation, we are closing down all Malls (except grocery, pharmacy and vegtable shops in them)," Mr Kejriwal tweeted this afternoon.
The national capital has so far reported 18 cases of the highly contagious COVID-19, which includes one foreign national. The city recorded its first death due to the illness last week. A 68-year-old, resident of West Delhi, died after she came in contact with her son who had contracted the virus after travelling to Switzerland and Italy last month.
In view of the prevailing situation, we are closing down all Malls (except grocery, pharmacy and vegtable shops in them)— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 20, 2020
On Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party government ordered shutting of all restaurants in the city till March 31 to curb the spread of novel coronavirus, which has spread to over 140 countries since it originated in China's Wuhan city in December.
"Dine-in arrangements in all restaurants shall remain closed in Delhi till March 31. However, restaurants can continue home-deliveries and takeaways," Mr Kejriwal said. Mandatory thermal screening at public places like courts, offices, hotels, hospitals and residential complexes was ordered at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister.
The Delhi government has also ordered closure of all government and private schools in the national capital for teaching and non-teaching staff till March 31. "All exams have been postponed till March 31. The schools will be closed for teaching and non-teaching staff as well," the Directorate of Education (DOE) said.
Like Maharashtra, the Delhi government has also started stamping those who have been advised to self-quarantine. "Strict action will be taken against those who violate self-quarantine rules," the 51-year-old AAP chief told reporters.
India, which has registered four deaths so far, today recorded a sharp increase in number of COVID-19 cases, with over 30 more infected in different parts of the country. Across the world, nearly 10,000 have died, more than one lakh have been infected.
In a televised address on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for social distancing, appealing people to observe "Janata Curfew" on Sunday.