Shops reopen in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh after nearly 5 months

New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): After a gap of nearly five months, shops reopened in Shaheen Bagh here on Friday, following the relaxations in the fourth phase of COVID-19 lockdown.

The shops were closed even before the lockdown, for a brief time, due to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the area.

"Now that we are open, the customers are still hesitant to come. We used to have large crowds coming in each day which now has been reduced to just 15-20 a day," Divesh, one of the shop owners in the area, told ANI.

He said that not having to pay the rent in the last five months helped them keep the business afloat.

The Delhi government had announced on May 18 that the shops and markets can be opened while following the odd-even rule.

"We were not able to pay full salaries to our staff members because of the huge losses. Hopefully, now with the sale going up, we would be able to pay them fully," said Mukesh, another shop owner in the area.

Many markets in the city have reopened but the sale of products is yet to pick pace.

According to the Union Health Ministry and Family Welfare, Delhi has 11,659 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 5,567 cured/discharged/migrated and 194 fatalities. (ANI)