In a bid to contain coronavirus infection in the capital, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced sealing of Delhi borders with neighbouring states. Delhi-Gurugram and Delhi-Noida borders will be shut for a week. Only essential service providers will allowed. Employees could cross the border by showing their identification cards or ID cards, Kejriwal said.
Keriwal's worry was that COVID-19 patients from outside Delhi would overwhelm the capital's health infrastructure. People from across the country come to Delhi for medical treatment as the capital's healthcare system is better than any other sate, Kejriwal said. Moreover, the government hospitals in Delhi provide free treatment to all the patients, he added.
The state government arranged 9,500 beds for coronavirus treatments. "As soon as we open the borders, people from across the country will come to Delhi for better treatment," the Delhi chief minister said while his briefing on Monday.
"But Delhi is the national capital and it belongs to all. How can Delhi deny treatment to all these people now?" Kejriwal concluded.
So, Delhi government asked its people to send suggestions by Friday through WhatsApp or email on whether the border should be opened or not. He also asked Delhiites to decide whether Delhi government hospitals should be reserved for the residents of Delhi.
Here are the rules for entering Delhi from Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad
1) Essential services providers will be permitted to enter the capital by showing valid e-pass.
2) Those going to railways stations or airports should have tickets or an e-pass.
3) Interstate movement of non-residents of Delhi will be permitted only if they have e-passes issued for essential services or emergencies.
4) E-passes should be issued by authorities or district magistrates of the respective states.
5) Government employees can show their ID cards to enter Delhi from Noida or Gurugram.
6) E-passes will be available for permitted non-essential activities as well.
Delhi's COVID-19 count crossed 20,000-mark as the state had registered 990 fresh cases in last 24 hours. The death toll in the state increased to 523.
Based on the suggestions received from citizens, the Delhi government will talk to the experts and decide on our future course of action on opening of borders, Kejriwal said.
Delhi shares its border with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Delhi has so far allowed people from the neighbouring states to enter the capital. However, the Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad authorities blocked the Delhi-Noida and Delhi-Ghaziabad borders in April in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Haryana government also shut Delhi-Gurugram border last week, considering rising number of cases in Delhi.