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COVID-19: Cinemas, swimming pools may not open soon in Delhi as govt decides to maintain status quo

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New Delhi, Oct 01: Cinemas, theatres, and swimming pools in the city are unlikely to open soon with the Delhi government deciding to maintain status quo on prohibited and permitted activities till October 31 in the national capital.

COVID-19: Cinemas, swimming pools may not open soon in Delhi as govt decides to maintain status quo

According to an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, these establishments will remain closed till further orders. In his order issued on Wednesday night, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev said that two weekly markets in each civic body zone will be allowed to open every day. Bars in hotels, restaurants and clubs have been permitted to remain open.

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The order stated that all social, academic, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions as well as other gatherings and large congregations will continue to be prohibited across the city.

"The situation of COVID-19 in Delhi has been reviewed and it has been decided that status quo in respect of prohibited and permitted activities (including activities on trial basis) may be maintained in NCT of Delhi till October 31 or further orders, whichever is earlier," it said.

However, maximum 50 people will be allowed in marriage related gatherings and maximum 20 people are allowed in funeral and last rites related gatherings, it stated.

On Wednesday, the Union Home Ministry issued new guidelines for permitting more activities in areas outside the containment zones that included opening up of cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15.

States and Union territories have been given the flexibility to decide on reopening schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner, and permitting social, religious and political gatherings beyond the limit of 100 people, subject to certain conditions.

The DDMA, headed by Lt Covernor Anil Baijal, has directed all district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police and other concerned authorities to ensure strict compliance of its order. In its September 13 order, the state disaster management authority had allowed opening of one weekly market per day per zone in civic bodies on trial basis, till September 30.

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It had also permitted opening of Yoga institutes and gyms in Delhi (except in containment zones), through the same order. Opening of bars had also been allowed on trial basis from September 9-30.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on August 15 said that the Delhi government would not open schools unless it is "fully convinced" about the improved COVID-19 situation in the city.

On Wednesday, 3,390 fresh COVID-19 positive cases and 41 deaths were reported in the national capital. The coronavirus induced country-wide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from March 25 and it was extended in phases till May 31. The Unlock process in the country had begun on June 1 with the graded reopening of commercial, social, religious and other activities.

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