File image of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (Image: Twitter/@ShivSena)
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on April 5 suggested Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to reduce shop timings from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm instead of imposing a ‘full lockdown’ to control surging COVID-19 cases.
The traders’ association said while the sharp rise in COVID cases is a cause of worry, it would be good if they may be taken into confidence before taking any decision.
“Undoubtedly the COVID needs to be dealt with in the most expeditious manner, however, the economic impact of such lockdown should not be overlooked. They suggested that instead of full lockdown, the shop timings should be reduced from 11 am to 5 pm and in cooperation with trade associations,” it said.
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CAIT added that during the lockdown, the role of supply chain manned by traders assumes much significance as the total population of the state or the country largely depends upon traders for seamless supply of commodities.
On April 4, the Maharashtra government announced new guidelines under its ‘Break the Chain’ campaign to curb the spread of novel coronavirus infections. The new rules will come into force from 8.00 pm on April 5 will remain in force till 11.59 pm on April 30. The state government may extend implementation of these guidelines further if necessary.
According to the new rules, all shops, markets and malls will remain closed throughout the day except for essential services until April 30. Additionally, the state government has instructed all private offices to remain shut and people in such establishments will have to work from home.
Read | Maharashtra’s new COVID-19 guidelines: All your questions answered
A day later, Maharashtra reported a total of 47,288 new COVID-19 cases and 155 deaths in the previous 24-hour period, the highest daily surge among all states in the country.
Maharashtra – the worst affected state in India due to the pandemic – has itself reported more than 30 lakh cases so far. While over 25 lakh people had recovered, the state’s death toll stood at around 55,800.
For weeks, the state government sent out warnings stating that a lockdown would become necessary to battle the second wave if people do not abide by safety norms such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.
(With inputs from PTI)
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