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Delhi govt allows shops providing essential services to operate 24x7, will also test all health workers

Delhi govt allows shops providing essential services to operate 24x7, will also test all health workers

The Delhi government has decided to allow establishments providing essential services, including grocery shops, to operate round the clock, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday.

In a joint press briefing with Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Kejriwal said that the Delhi Police ACPs and sub-divisional magistrates have been ordered to "personally ensure" functioning of essential services without any hindrance in their respective areas.

The number of Covid – 19 positive cases in Delhi touched 36, the government said. Out of the 36, 10 patients are those who came in touch with individuals carrying the virus from abroad, the CM said.

"Be it a vegetable vendor, a grocery shop owner or a chemist, every such essential service provider is being given e-passes. All they need to do is call the helpline number 1031. The passes will reach them via WhatsApp," Kejriwal said during the briefing, which was live streamed.

The announcements were made after a meeting of the core committee, at the Lt Governor's residence, monitoring the arrangements to keep the national capital running during the lockdown period of 21 days. Delhi has been under lockdown since March 22.

Kejriwal said the police has been asked to allow essential service providers to function even in the event of them not having the passes.

While some authorities including Delhi Police, Gurugram Police, Noida Police and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation instituted mechanisms for allowing home deliveries, including issuing curfew passes to the staff of Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Grofers, Swiggy, Zomato, etc, many raised concerns over non-adherence of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) orders in different states.

Offline retailers such as Future Retail, which operates the Big Bazaar chain, also complained that police confiscated bikes and keys of its staff and even beat them up on their way to stores.

Delhi govt orders check-up of all healthcare workers

After a 49-year-old doctor working in a mohalla clinic tested positive for COVID-19, the Delhi government has decided to conduct tests for all the healthcare workers who are directly involved in the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients. The city has reported 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 till Wednesday, of these 26 have a travel history and 10 are of local transmission.

An order by the department of health also stated that even the healthcare workers working in the facilities which are directly involved in drawing samples from patients at designated hospitals will also be tested for the disease. On Wednesday, the wife (47) and a 17-year-old daughter of the mohalla clinic was tested for COVID-19. Around 1,000 patients who were seen by the doctor between March 12 to March 18 are also being traced.

"A mohalla clinic doctor, along with his wife and daughter have tested positive. But clinics will not be shut. We are taking all necessary precautions," Chief Minister Kejriwal said.

"The healthcare workers are on the forefront and needs to be tested regularly so that the infection is contained," said a senior health official. Apart from the healthcare workers, the government will also be testing all the patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) who are admitted to the government hospitals.

Those working in the hospitals under Central government like AIIMS, Safdarjung, RML, Lady Hardinge medical college and R&R have been requested to contact the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to collect samples and test in their facility.

(Inputs and image from

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