Many trader associations across Delhi have asked shop owners to wear masks, use sanitisers and follow social distancing norms amid concerns over the surge in Covid cases in some countries. Fearing that the possible surge here will impact their business yet again, some of these associations have also called meetings to discuss their future course of action.
Amid a spike in cases in Japan, South Korea, Brazil, China and the US, the the Centre has urged all states and Union Territories to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive samples to keep track of emerging variants. Officials had earlier said that the Delhi government is keeping a watch on the Covid-19 situation and the chief minister has directed the health department to ensure genome sequencing of samples and take other steps needed to meet any eventuality.
Ashok Randhawa, president of the Mini Market Association at Sarojini Nagar, said shop owners have been asked to start taking precautions by wearing masks and regularly using sanitisers. "Traders had stopped wearing masks, but now we have asked them to wear them for their own protection.
"As there is no mandate from the government, we cannot ask customers to wear masks. People have become a bit complacent but we cannot force them to wear masks," Randhawa said. Fearing that a possible surge may impact business, Randhawa has called a meeting of traders to discuss the further course of action.
"I do not understand why the Covid is re-merging. We cannot afford any more such situations. We have called a meeting today to discuss what all precautions should be taken," he added. Similarly, at Palika Bazaar, traders said customers could not care less about wearing masks.
"We regularly ask them to wear masks but people have stopped using them altogether. We cannot ask them continuously because it might impact our business. We can only advise them," said Darshan Lal Kakkar, president of the Palika Bazaar Association. K K Balli, president of the Association of Wholesale Readymade Garment Dealers (Gandhi Nagar), echoed similar concerns, saying it is the third year of Covid and the economy won't be able to handle any more waves.
"We are taking all precautions. We do not want markets to be put under lockdown. Traders are already facing losses and cannot handle another Covid wave. We hope this new surge in cases slows down," Balli said. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday has raised concerns over the global rise in Covid-19 cases. He asked states to remain alert and create awareness about wearing face masks and using hand sanitisers, especially in view of upcoming festivals and new year celebrations.