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Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

Coronavirus: Delhi govt limits gathering to 5, announces 50% free ration

  • Earlier this week, the AAP government had limited public gathering to 50 and later reduced it to 20
  • The state has already shut down malls, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, schools and universities

NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government on Saturday ordered reducing the number of people gathering in one place from 20 to 5 to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Taking into account those whose jobs are likely to be affected as businesses shut down, the government also announced free ration for 18 lakh families. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government also announced double pension for elderly, widows and specially-abled.

Chief minister Kejriwal addressed a press conference on Saturday as the number of confirmed cases increased to 26 in the national capital. Kejriwal said his government has not decided on a complete lockdown yet but will consider if the situation worsens.

“The number of people allowed to gather is being reduced from 20 to 5. Places where more than five people need to assemble, they are advised to stand one metre apart. We have decided that those staying in quarantine in hotels will not have to pay GST (goods and services tax) on hotel room charge," Kerjiwal said.

Earlier this week, the Delhi government had limited public gathering to 50 and later reduced it to 20. It has already shut down malls, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, schools and universities.

Kejriwal said the poor who are daily wage earners are the ones most affected by crisis caused by the deadly virus.

“We are increasing their ration by 50% for free. We will make sure that the 18 lakh families who take ration will get ration. We need to ensure that lines are not long. We are doubling the pension for widows, old people, divyangjans (specially-abled). We are doing this because they come from poor families and they are likely to face the direct brunt of employment loss through coronavirus. For homeless people, we are making arrangements for lunch and dinner at night shelters," he said.

He urged people to stay at home and only step out if necessary.

“I appeal to anyone over the age of 60 to please stay at home. We are not doing a lockdown right now but if it comes to it then we will have to do that as well," Kejriwal said.

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