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Harassment of medical staff will not be tolerated, says CM

Harassment of medical staff will not be tolerated, says CM

New Delhi: Five new Coronavirus cases were reported in Delhi in past 24 hours, pushing the number of total cases to 35, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday, as his government decided to issue e-passes for people associated with essential services to commute during the lockdown.

Kejriwal said people ensuring essential services such as milk sellers, vegetable vendors and grocers can call helpline 1031 to get the passes on their mobile phones through WhatsApp. Addressing a joint digital press conference with Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the Chief Minister said people can walk down to shops nearby to buy items of daily use, and they don't need any pass for it.

"We will issue e-passes to people engaged in manufacturing, transport, and storage of essential items as well as to people associated with private essential services," he said, amid reports that delivery agents of e-commerce websites were facing difficulties in reaching their destinations due to the lockdown.

An official later said a person wanting an e-pass will have to call 1031 and give his or her required details. Thereafter, an e-pass will be issued on the applicant's mobile phone number through WhatsApp. Also, the Delhi police held a meeting with etailers to ensure a seamless delivery of essential goods.

Kejriwal said of the five fresh cases reported in the past 24 hours, one is a foreign national.

He also said that landlords threatening doctors and nurses to evacuate, fearing spread of the contagious disease COVID-19, will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against them.

Lt Governor Baijal directed all district magistrates, DCPs and deputy commissioners of municipal corporations to take strict action against such landlords.

Baijal also directed authorities to ensure proper arrangements for transportation of medical staff from their residence to their workplace during the 21-day lockdown announced by the government.

The government on Wednesday gave power to zonal Deputy Commissioners to take "strict penal action" against landlords who have been forcing doctors and paramedical staff, engaged in fighting the novel coronavirus, to vacate their rented premises.

Two senior police officers Sanjiv Khirwar and Muktesh Chandar have been appointed as nodal officers to address the problems faced by service providers of essential goods and services, an official order said.

Kejriwal said his government has increased the number of spots across the city where free food for the poor will be made available.

"However, there are a lot of people who fall outside the ambit of many schemes. We know people are more in number. We are increasing the number of spots where free food is provided," he added.

The Delhi government permitted all manufacturers of drugs and cosmetics to produce ethanol-based hand sanitisers up to June 30 without a separate license to deal with shortage in markets.

Meanwhile, Delhi police on Wednesday said they are proactively engaging with e-commerce portals and issuing passes to ensure their agents are able to commute seamlessly and deliver essential goods to residents during the 21-day lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Senior police officials, including DCP Eish Singhal and Additional DCP Deepak Yadav of New Delhi District, held a meeting with the representatives of e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Zomato, Snapdeal and BigBasket and listened to the problems they were facing due to the lockdown.

"We have set up a platform for e-commerce websites where they can share with us difficulties faced by them, so we can solve them," said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Delhi police PRO.

Curfew passes were being issued to e-commerce agents to ensure seamless delivery of goods, he said, adding 6,141 passes for movement during the lockdown have been issued till 5pm Wednesday. On Tuesday, 2,319 such passes were issued.

Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava asked on-duty officials to take precautions and said he has received reports

of "misconduct" by some personnel with essential services staffers.

Delhi Police also started issuing curfew passes from respective DCP offices for companies related to essential services and also for people who have genuine grievances and asked them to apply online with a two page form. The form asks for Name and address, email id and some basic information including the purpose of the curfew pass.

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