Market associations say lockdown no solution, COVID protocol enforcement best way to control virus

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New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) Market associations in Delhi on Friday suggested measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the city, dismissing lockdown as a solution and calling for strict enforcement of COVID-19 protocols.

Associations of several retail markets held a meeting here and issued a joint statement, saying COVID-19 protocols should be enforced throughout the day to control the situation, rather than banking on night and weekend curfews or lockdown.

'We all are of the common view that operational timings can be staggered or reduced rather than going for a lockdown, which will not only have a direct impact on government revenue and livelihood of workers, creating a sense of insecurity in the country, but will also not have any positive impact in breaking the chain,' the statement said.

The meeting was attended by traders' associations of over 12 markets, including Khan Market, Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, South Extension and Chandni Chowk.

Citing a Delhi Disaster Management Authority notification, the associations suggested that the operational timings of all legal markets can be reduced to control the situation.

They suggested that markets can operate between 12 noon and 7 PM, and office timings can be from 10 am to 4 pm.

The associations also sought complete removal of all illegal occupants and encroachers, and urged the government to speed up vaccination and open it to all age groups.

'It is important to highlight that major violations of COVID protocols are being done by squatters and hawkers where unfortunately no department is taking any action. There is massive congestion caused by them on account of which becomes difficult to maintain social distancing and follow MHA protocols,' the statement added. PTI AMP IJT