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Delhi has fewer than 12,000 active novel coronavirus cases, as of Monday night (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi government has allowed street vendors and hawkers to function from 10 AM to 8 PM daily in the national capital, except in coronavirus containment zones. They will be required to follow hygiene protocols such as social distancing.

The government has, however, banned weekly bazaars till further notice, in line with social distancing guidelines enforced to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“A special order is being passed through which the street vendors and hawkers can restart their work and livelihood in Delhi,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was quoted by news agency PTI.

The order is expected to come as a relief for the lakhs of hawkers in the national capital, whose trade and livelihoods were severely disrupted by the coronavirus lockdown.

The order also comes on the day Delhi recorded its lowest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in two months – only 613 fresh infections were reported over the past 24 hours

Overall 1.31 lakh cases have been recorded in the national capital since the outbreak began, but of these fewer than 12,000 are active cases and around 3,800 are deaths linked to the virus.

The recovery rate in Delhi is 88 per cent.

The turnaround in the Covid situation in the city, which had reported between 1,000 and 2,000 new cases per day at the infection’s peak, is significant.

“Due to the hard-work and mindfulness of two crore people in Delhi, the situation is now improving. Today, the Delhi Covid model is being discussed across the country and the world,” Chief Minister Kejriwal said Monday afternoon in a video message.

India’s total has crossed 14 lakh and although the country remains third on the list of worst-affected nations (behind the United States and Brazil), the continuing spike in daily cases is worrying.

There have been over 45,000 new cases every day since July 23; over 48,000 were reported on Monday.

Also on Monday, sources told NDTV the centre is considering a request to allow movie theatres and gyms to reopen, albeit with restrictions and pending clearance from state governments, as part of “Unlock3”, or the next phase of emerging from the coronavirus lockdown.

“Unlock2” ends July 31.

Delhi had asked the centre to allow metro operations, but a decision on this has yet to be taken.

Cinemas, gyms, schools and colleges have been shut since India went into lockdown in late-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 600,000 lives worldwide.

With input from PTI

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