Srinagar traders, civil society members vow to break COVID chain

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Pledging to break the chain of virus, Srinagar-based traders and civil society members are encouraging people to follow COVID19 safety guidelines.

Alarmed by the rising number of covid cases in Srinagar, the local traders themselves suggested to authorities to impose three-day lockdown in a week.

“The COVID19 is a concern and we want everyone to be safe and healthy. So, we had suggested district administration to impose three-day lockdown in a week till situation improves,” said Farhan Kitab, General Secretary, Coordination Committee City Centre, CCCC.

The CCCC is an amalgam of various market associations – mostly spread from Polo View to Ghanta Ghar.Kitab said that in their suggestions, they proposed closure of markets from Friday to Sunday. “We further suggested opening of markers for the rest of days from 11am to 5pm. The 11am was suggested with an object to reduce footfall in markets as by 11am employees travel to offices,” he said.

He said that all retailers and traders’ bodies in the city have taken a pledge to extend their help and cooperation to authorities in fight against coronavirus. “At shops, we are also following SoPs strictly and provide free of cost masks to customers before they make entry into our shops. We also offer sanitization for hands to our customers,” he said.

However, majority of the customers, as per Kitab, are following SoPs. “We also appreciate the role of local police who have been actively educating people about importance to follow safety guidelines while adopting people-friendly approach,” he said.

Nazir Ahmad Shah, president Shahre Khaas Traders Coordination Committee said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have always urged everyone to follow COVID19 safety guidelines. It is a prime responsibility of every citizen to play their part in containing the virus.”  He added that Shahre Khaas Traders Coordination Committee is also encouraging others to follow SoPs.

However, Shah added that government must also take into consideration the losses faced by the traders and announce a package to help them. Various civil society members and local residents of Srinagar expressed similar views saying that it must be a collective effort to break the chain and contain the virus.

They also welcomed the decision of authorities for imposing lockdown as a strategy to break the chain. With surge in COVID19 cases, Srinagar administration has so far declared over 15 areas as containment zones and more than 50 localities as micro-containment zones in the summer capital to contain the virus.