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Delhi hits pause on MHA order to reopen shops, will decide on April 27

The Delhi government is not inclined to implement the home ministry's midnight order on letting standalone shops open right away and will take a call after a comprehensive assessment on April 27, a senior city government functionary told Hindustan Times on Saturday.

The situation will be reviewed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority's top committee before extending the lockdown relaxation to Delhi, the functionary said.

He attributed the city government's reluctance to allow shops to reopen to the high number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital.

Delhi has reported a total of 2,514 Covid-19 patients till last night, 128 of them within the previous 24 hours.

"We need to get a grip on the situation first rather than fritter away the gains made," the functionary said.

In a late night order on Friday, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla had allowed neighbourhood shops, standalone shops and shops in residential complexes to open on the condition that they operate with half the strength and enforce social distancing norms.

Bhalla issued the order in his capacity as chairperson of the National Executive Committee of the National Disaster Management Authority.

For the central orders to be implemented, each state authority has to issue a separate set of orders to departments under its charge such as the police and health departments.

"The view in the government for now, is to continue with its policy of no more relaxations till April 27," a Delhi government functionary said.

On 19 April, the Delhi state executive committee led by chief secretary Vijay Dev had frozen the lockdown 2.0 ground rules and "decided against any relaxation for additional activities till another comprehensive assessment on April 27 is carried out.

(Inputs and image from

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