Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has requested a reconsideration of the recent order by Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which requires all private offices to shut their workspaces and work from home, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 cases in Delhi. CAIT believes that this order is detrimental to most small businesses and traders that employ lakhs of people.
In a letter dated January 11 that was addressed to the Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal, CAIT brought attention to the fact that over three lakh offices in Delhi conducting business provide employment to lakhs of people. Although they assure their compliance, they have mentioned that this decision will adversely impact 'businesses of Delhi and the employment of these people'.
CAIT also provided an alternate solution suggesting that instead of full closure, offices be allowed to work at 50% capacity, following Covid appropriate behaviour and strict social distancing. It also advised that the DDMA's order be applied to the corporate sector, but small businesses and traders be exempted from it.
The reason being, traders & small businesses are yet to go on a fully digital mode, unlike corporate offices, and hence will not be able to work from home, like advised by the government. This in turn will affect the overall business and employment of many.
CAIT also mentioned that it had asked the government to come up with a concrete work from home policy to benefit traders and businessmen, but was yet to hear back on anything from that front.
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Earlier in the day, DDMA released its notification with a detailed list of new COVID guidelines that will be implemented in the city. According to the order, all private offices are to be closed, except those falling under 'exempted category'. The government has advised private offices to follow work from home protocols. Here's a list of what falls under the exempted category.
Other than that restaurants and bars will also remain shut for dine-in services in the national capital, as it sees a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Delhi has seen a huge spike in COVID-19 cases in the past few days. On January 10, Delhi logged 17 more deaths due to the COVID-19 and around 19,166 new cases, with one in every four persons undergoing testing turning positive. The capital currently has 65,803 active cases of which 44,028 are in home isolation. The current positivity rate stands at 25 percent.