Shops selling essentials to remain open 24x7
March 26, 2020  20:43
Shops selling essential  commodities will be allowed to stay open 24 hours of the day in Maharashtra and Delhi.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday that shops selling essential items such as groceries and vegetables will be allowed to operate round the clock to ease rush.

The decision was taken to prevent crowding at shopsand marketplaces amid the lockdown to contain the coronaviruspandemic, a statement from Thackeray's office said.

Thackeray held discussions with senior officials who are in charge of special control room for coronavirus set up at the Mantralaya (state secretariat) about how to ensure smooth supply of essential goods earlier in the day, it added.

However, shop-keepers must ensure that social distancing is maintained and rules about hygiene and sanitising are followed, the CMO statement said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said that the government will allow shops selling essential items to operate round the clock.

In a joint digital press conference with Baijal at 12 noon, Kejriwal said that one case of coronavirus was reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 36.

He said that among the 36 cases, 26 people were those who returned from abroad recently.

E-commerce companies in the national capital can carry out home delivery of essential commodities as their employees' identity cards will be considered valid during the lockdown, the chief minister said.

Subdivisional magistrates and assistant commissioners of police have been directed to ensure shops selling groceries, vegetables and milk remain open and essential items are adequately stocked in their respective areas, the lieutenant governor said.

Baijal said that as a special measure, grocery and essential supplies stores will be allowed to operate round the clock.

This will help in staggering customer visits and maintaining social distancing norms, he added.   -- PTI
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