The Delhi government has ordered all businesses to pull down their shutters and private transport operators to stay off the roads in a full lockdown of the national capital amid the coronavirus pandemic. The borders will be sealed and only those people who are in a list of what is considered "essential services" will be allowed to move freely.
"For preventive measures to contain spread of covid-19 outbreak, directions have been issued for lockdown in the whole territorial jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi from 0600 hrs on Monday 23rd March 2020 to midnight 31st March 2020," Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal tweeted on Sunday.
For preventive measures to contain spread of covid-19 outbreak, directions have been issued for lockdown in the whole territorial jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi from 0600 hrs on Monday 23rd March 2020 to midnight 31st March 2020.#IndiaFightCoronapic.twitter.com/kqAcaxiQbr— LG Delhi (@LtGovDelhi) March 22, 2020
The Delhi Metro will remain shut till March 31. All kinds of transport such as private buses, taxis, autorickshaws, rickshaws and e-rickshaws other than buses of the state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will not run. The DTC fleet that is deployed on the roads, however, will be only 25 per cent of its full capacity to ferry people who are working in services considered essential.
All the services and businesses that are considered essential and which will remain open are:
- Offices charged with law and order and magisterial duties
- Fair price shops (public distribution system)
- Municipal services
- Activities related to functioning of legislative assembly of Delhi
- Pay and accounts office (only for salary/wages/contingent/health and essential services related expenditure)
- Print and electronic media
- Cashier/teller operations of banks (including ATMs)
- Telecom, internet and postal services
- E-commerce of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical and medical equipment
- Food items, groceries (fruit/vegetables/milk/bakery items, meat, fish, etc)
- Milk plants
- General provision stores
- Takeaway/home delivery in restaurants
- Chemists and pharmacies
- Petrol pumps, LPG/oil agencies (including their godown and transportation-related activities)
- Animal fodder
- Manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/commerce and logistics related to all the above services/establishments and commodities required for delivery of these above services
- Any other essential service/establishment that may be exempted by the government
The government has said it will ensure essential items are available across Delhi and has asked people to guard against panic-buying.
"Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday. "We have been fortunate. In our country, the virus came late. We had the advantage of watching and learning from the experiences of Italy and China. But if we still cannot take the right step at the right time, we would never forgive ourselves," he added.