Trade leaders, political representatives seek stringent steps to curb COVID spread
Trade unions and political representatives on Monday welcomed the State government’s decision to impose a partial lockdown from Wednesday in order to curb the dangerous rise in COVID-19 cases.
According to a directive issued by the government on Monday, all shops and commercial establishments will be allowed to function only from 6 a.m. to noon. People can come out of their homes only during these hours.
Welcoming the decision, Lok Satta State executive president Bhisetty Babji said that a lockdown was the need of the hour given the drastic spread of COVID-19 in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, where over 3,000 new cases were being reported daily.
“The government should augment bed strength immediately as the existing COVID-19 hospitals are unable to provide treatment to all the patients. The curfew announced by the government should be implemented strictly,” he added.
In Vizianagaram, Balaji Market president B.Venkata Rao said that all shop owners have been advised to follow physical distancing norms and proper sanitisation of their premises. He said that their Market Committee would ensure compliance with the State government’s new guidelines which come into force from Wednesday.
‘Death rate worrying’
Sankalp Shivam Jeevan Seva Foundation head Kinjarapu Shalini expressed concern over the death rate in Srikakulam district compared to other districts in the State.
“Due to shortage of beds, many patients are being forced to remain in home isolation. Some of them are ignoring the seriousness of the disease. That is one of the main reasons behind the high death rate in Srikakulam. Fortunately, the curfew announced by the government may lead to a decline in new cases,” she said.
Srikakulam Chamber of Commerce assistant treasurer Perla Mahesh urged the district administration to minimise congestion in the markets where more crowds were anticipated due to the limited trading hours.
“In spite of the spread of COVID-19, physical distancing is hardly being followed at medical shops, grocery stores and other places. This is the main reason behind the rapid spread of the virus in Srikakulam district. The government should take stringent action against those violating the COVID-19 norms,” he said.
Srikakulam district Kalinga Komati Sangham president Boina Govindarajulu urged the government to give priority to traders in vaccination coverage as many traders involved in the sale of essential commodities had become victims of COVID-19. He expressed apprehension that the high rush at shops due to curtailed business hours will put the lives of traders at even more risk.