Delhi traders welcome 6-day lockdown -- 'much-needed step' to contain spread of coronavirus

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) Traders' associations in Delhi on Monday welcomed the six-day lockdown imposed by the government to fight the deadly second wave of coronavirus infections rampaging through the city.

'The lockdown imposed by the Delhi government in consultation with the Lieutenant Governor is welcome. It was a much-needed step to break the chain of infection,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

He urged the LG and the chief minister to divide Delhi into five zones -- Central, East, West, North and South -- and appoint nodal officers to collaborate with CAIT leaders to smoothen the supply of essential goods to people.

Brijesh Goyal, chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI), said the government took “a very balanced decision”.

“Over the past few days, we consulted all the traders of Delhi and 90 per cent of them agreed that there should be a lockdown of five to seven days in Delhi,” he said in a statement.

The biggest advantage of a short lockdown would be that workers and labourers in shops and factories would not have to return to their villages like last year, Goyal said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am on April 26, saying it was a necessary step to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases as the city's health system was “stretched to its limits”.

“The lockdown is needed to prevent the health system of Delhi from collapsing under the increasing number of patients as there is an acute shortage of medicines, beds, ICUs and oxygen,” Kejriwal said.

Delhi has been reporting around 25,000 COVID-19 cases daily in the past few days. PTI GVS MGA SMN