Kejriwal asks market associations to provide free masks

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asks market associations to provide free masks to those not wearing it

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Credit: PTI Photo

 Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said his government does not want to shut any market and asked representatives of market associations to provide masks to those not wearing it.

At a virtual meeting with the representatives of the market associations, the chief minister also sought cooperation from the market associations on curbing Covid-19 cases in the city.

"Met representatives of market associations. I removed their anxieties, government does not wish to shut any market. They assured anyone not wearing a mask in the market will be provided free by market associations. All shops will also be asked to keep spare masks and hand sanitizers," Kejriwal tweeted.

He said he was assured by market associations that they will provide free masks to those not wearing it and also ensure availability of spare masks and sanitisers at shops.

Amid the spurt in Covid-19 cases in Delhi, Kejriwal had on Tuesday sought power from the Centre to impose restrictions in those markets which may emerge as Covid-19 hotspots due to crowded situation, people not using face masks and violations of social distancing there.

"Delhi government does not want to shut any market, the people of the associations should provide free masks to the people who are without masks," Kejriwal said in the meeting and sought cooperation in controlling the rising cases of Corona in the national capital. 

The market associations assured that they will support and extend all possible help to the the government to prevent the infection of Covid-19 in the marketplaces, said a Delhi government statement. 

In view of the rising coronavirus infections in the city, the representatives of the market associations expressed concern over the possibility of closing down of markets, on which the chief minister "clarified" that the Delhi government does not want to shut any market, the statement said.

He said that despite the rapid spread of coronavirus in Delhi, our doctors, nurses, and medical staff have done commendable work and are tirelessly treating Covid 19 patients. 

Constant efforts are being made to ensure that Delhi residents do not suffer due to the shortage of ICU beds in hospitals.

Seeing the shortage of ICU beds, the chief minister has appealed to increase ICU beds by meeting doctors in GTB and DDU hospitals, it said.

After the efforts of the chief minister, 663 additional ICU beds will be increased in Delhi government hospitals within the next few days. Also, 750 ICU beds have been received from the central government, added the statement.

The chief minister has also appealed all the political parties to deploy their volunteers on the road to distribute masks to people who are not wearing it.