NEW DELHI: With the Delhi government announcing a six-day lockdown, Retailers Association of India (RAI) on Monday said a complete closure is not a solution, while calling for a balance between lives and livelihood.
The retailers’ body asked the state government to allow all sizes and formats of non-food retail to take orders over phone and other electronic means for home deliveries.
Further, store premises can be allowed to be opened to the limited extent of fulfilling only home delivery orders, it said.
“We appreciate Delhi government’s efforts to curb the surge of the pandemic in the Capital city. However, we believe that complete closure is not a solution. There has to be a balance between lives and livelihood to ensure that while lives are saved livelihoods are not lost,” RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said in a statement.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a lockdown from 10 pm on Monday night till 5 am next Monday, in view of an exponential rise in coronavirus cases and the city’s health system being stretched to its limits.
Rajagopalan asked the state government to permit all sizes and formats of non-food retail to take orders over phone and other electronic means for home deliveries.
The store premises can be allowed to be opened to the limited extent of fulfilling home delivery orders while being closed for walk-in customers.
“This ensures social distancing and convenience to customers. In addition to daily essentials, citizens also need non-food items such as clothing, hardware, electrical, household kitchen items among others on a daily basis and should be able to have access to these needs without hardships,” he said.
Announcing the lockdown in the Capital, Kejriwal said it was needed to prevent the health system of Delhi from collapsing under the increasing number of patients as there is an acute shortage of medicines, beds, ICUs and oxygen.
In the last few days, the daily cases of COVID-19 have been around 25,500 and the health system in Delhi is under tremendous pressure, he said while addressing an online press conference.