- Photographs of street vendors breaking the Covid-19 regulations in markets were brought before the Delhi High Court.
- Large crowds were witnessed at popular shopping marketplaces after the restrictions were eased.
- The high court ordered the Central and the Delhi government to take strong measures and sensitize shopkeepers on the issue.
The breach of COVID-19 protocols in markets, according to the Delhi High Court (HC), may speed the third wave of the pandemic in the national capital. “Such breaches of Covid protocol will only hasten the third wave, which cannot be tolerated at all,” the High Court said in a case involving violations of norms in Delhi marketplaces.
The Delhi High Court took note of the violation of the COVID-19 protocol in city markets and ordered the authorities to take strong action and educate traders. Various images of marketplaces circulating on social media and WhatsApp where people were observed flouting COVID-19 guidelines and walking without masks attracted the Court’s attention.
Large crowds were seen at popular shopping marketplaces in Delhi just over a month after the city’s darkest public health crisis during the second wave of the pandemic, breaking Covid regulations such as social distancing and mask wearing. Thousands of people crammed into metro stations and stores, causing some doctors to fear that COVID-19 infections could resurface.
Delhi’s shops, malls, and eateries reopened on Monday, following a steady decline in COVID-19 numbers in the city over the last two weeks. Weekly markets have also reopened, however only 50% of sellers are allowed, and each municipal zone will only have one market per day.
The high court has issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government, requesting an update on the situation. It also requested that authorities take harsh measures against violators and educate shopkeepers.
During the second wave of the pandemic, Delhi was one of the worst-affected states/UTs in the country, though it has showed indications of dilution in recent days. Markets were allowed to reopen on Monday by the Aam Adami Party (AAP) government in the national capital, citing a decrease in the number of cases. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand, has stated that the government will study the situation in the city for a week before determining whether or not to impose additional restrictions.
Doctors and disease specialists are concerned about Delhi’s near-complete reopening, warning that a rush to resume daily function could jeopardise immunisation efforts.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced earlier this month that a task force will be formed to detect a possible third wave of Covid. In addition, ICU beds and pharmaceutical supplies are being expanded. Mr Kejriwal had stated on June 5 that “we are ready for the third wave of COVID-19, keeping in mind that 37,000 cases may be reported at its peak.”
On Thursday, the capital recorded 158 new Covid cases and 10 deaths. The positivity rate has dropped to 0.20 percent.