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Delhi borders opening from June 8, hotels and banquet halls to remain closed

Lockdown in Delhi. Photo: India Today. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Jun 7, 2020, Hindustan Times. A day before nationwide relaxations come into effect, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that hotels and banquet halls will remain closed in Delhi, Hindustan Times reported.

He said that restaurants, malls and places of worship will open but said the government will take a call on opening banquet halls later.

The chief minister also announced opening of Delhi’s borders from Monday.

He also asked people to keep following social distancing and other norms even during relaxations. “Relaxations do not mean that coronavirus disease has ended,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.

“You are not doing anyone a favour by wearing mask, it’s for your own safety. I am still getting reports that people are going out without masks,” he added.

He also urged senior citizens to observe extra caution, and reduce interact “even with family members” as much as possible.

The chief minister said that the hospitals in Delhi will only cater to Covid-19 patients from the national capital for now. “The government hospitals in Delhi will not serve patients from other parts of the country for a few days,” said Kejriwal.

The private hospitals, that offer specialised surgeries like oncology surgery transplantation etc, will remain open for all the patients.

He said that this decision has been taken because experts have told him that Delhi will need 15,000 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients by end of June because of surge in the number of cases. He said that the number of patients will go up once the borders are open.

Kejriwal had served a stern warning to private hospitals on Saturday, accusing some of them of lying about the number of beds they had for patients of the coronavirus disease and promising tough action against health facilities that, he said, were engaged in extortionist practices during the public health crisis.

The comments came against the backdrop of a spate of reports and social media posts detailing difficulties people faced in hospital admissions.

The Delhi government later issued an order making it mandatory for hospitals to admit and treat patients who were in moderate to serious condition even if Covid-19 tests hadn’t been conducted on them or test results were still awaited.

“Accordingly, if found positive, then she/he shall be kept in the Covid hospital and otherwise transferred to non-Covid hospital for further management,” the order read.

In the past six days (Monday to Saturday) Delhi has seen an average of 1301 new cases a day. The city’s total n Saturday night stood at 27,654 cases, 16,229 active cases, 10,664 recoveries, and 761 deaths.

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