Delhi set to reopen malls, restaurants and temples with no prasad – guidelines explained

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Delhi set to reopen malls, restaurants and temples with no prasad – guidelines explained
Delhi set to reopen malls, restaurants and temples with no prasad – guidelines explained

New Delhi : In the Unlock 1, the Delhi government is set to reopen mall, restaurants and temples from June 8 onwards despite the fact that number of coronavirus cases are rising sharply in the national capital and also in the nation.

The daily number of rising cases is around 10,000 and there are reports that people are facing difficulties in getting admission to hospitals if they have been tested positive to the coronavirus.

It is the first of the three-phase plan for reopening of prohibited activities in non-containment zones with a stringent set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which will be in place till June 30.

In the new guidelines, it has been prescribed that the reopened public places will have a token system for regulated entry and no physical offerings like 'prasad' at temples.

In the malls, cinema halls, gaming arcades and children play areas will continue to be in the prohibited segment. The SOPs are advisory in nature and the Centre has left it to the states to finetune the details. The Punjab government, for example, provides for a token-based entry to malls as part of its guidelines.

In Gujarat, some of the religious places have decided to organise prayers in shifts and even start a token system to specify time slots to devotees for visits in a bid to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that Delhi Civic Hospitals will admit only Delhi residents till the time coronavirus cases come under control.

He also said hotels and banquet halls will remain closed as the authorities may need these facilities to convert them into hospitals.

Malls in Delhi will be focussing on hourly disinfection of the common areas, contact-less shopping and physical distancing, according to some of the mall owners. There are around 100 big and small shopping malls in the national capital.

The general SOPs issued by the Centre included measures like allowing only asymptomatic staff, guests, customers and devotees on the premises, proper crowd management and maintaining effective and frequent sanitation, with a particular focus on lavatories, drinking and handwashing stations/areas. The seating in restaurants has also been reduced to 50 per cent of the total capacity.

Frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, benches and washroom fixtures among others are be cleaned and regularly disinfected.

Hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions should be in place mandatorily at the entrance and everyone should maintain respiratory etiquettes and follow the prescribed 'do's and dont's', the Health Ministry stated. The SOPs also recommended installation and use of the Aarogya Setu app.