New Delhi: The National Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) on Friday (May 14, 2021) wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, requesting him to lift the complete COVID-19 lockdown in the national capital.

NDTA, in their letter, urged the Delhi Chief Minister to open markets in a phased manner ‘with strict enforcement of laws’.

The letter comes in the backdrop of complete COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi amid rising COVID-19 infections. CM Arvind Kejriwal, earlier this month, had announced complete lockdown in the city to curb the spread and break the transmission chain of coronavirus. The lockdown restrictions in the city were supposed to stay in place till May 10, but were extended till May 17 in view of the coronavirus situation. 

The National Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) president Atul Bhargava, while speaking to PTI, said that nobody was in favour of the lockdown since the beginning. 

“But they had no option since the coronavirus cases in Delhi were rising. However, now we are of the opinion that the government instead of extending lockdown should open the markets in a phased manner with strict enforcement of laws and proper sanitisation”, he added. 

Furthermore, Bhargava asserted that the traders, who have stood with the nation in “all difficult times, are now in dire need of support from the government and claimed that the umpteen letters” written to the powers that be for help have fallen on deaf ears. 

“No relief has been given to traders in any form till date. We have to pay our EMI, salary, rents, payments, property tax, loan repayments, GST on time without any support from the government. More and more traders are finding it difficult to survive. I have written at least 150 letters to people in positing power requesting them to help the traders community, but have failed to receive a single reply so far,” he said. 

Meanwhile, head of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr. Balram Bhargava has suggested that the COVID-19 lockdown should not be lifted from districts where the rate of infection is above 10% of those tested. At present, major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have a positivity rate above 10%.  

“If Delhi is opened tomorrow, it will be a disaster”, a portal quoted Bhargava as saying.

Additionally, while addressing a virtual press conference, CM Kejriwal said the number of fresh COVID-19 cases has come down to around 8,500 and the positivity rate has dipped to around 12 percent.

“But the fight against the coronavirus has not ended and there is no room for leniency,” the chief minister said.

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