Bhopal: Amid pandemic, festive shopping and crowded markets are challenges ahead

BHOPAL: With corona cases in the city on the rise and Rakhshabandhan and Bakrid round the corner, a big challenge faces the administration. Rakshabandhan is on August 3 while Bakrid will be celebrated on August 1. The markets may witness bigger crowds around these festivals, leading to increased risk of spread of the disease.

For the past couple of days, the number of new cases in the city is rising by more than 100. Fatalities are also on the rise. Shyam Babu Agarwal, president of the Rajdhani Vyavsayi Sangh, Lakherapura told Free Press that complete lockdown should be imposed in the city from July 24 to August 4.

“Neither the traders nor the customers are ready to listen. People are crowding the markets,” he said. When asked what arrangements can be made to deal with the likely surge in the number of visitors to the markets, he said that nothing can be done. “The problem is that the people are no longer scared of the disease,” he added.

However, Satish Gangrade, President of the New Market Vyapari Sangh, does not agree. He said that he does not expect huge crowds in the markets on Rakshabandhan. “People are so fearful that they are not visiting the markets. And those who are, are wearing masks,” he said. According to Gangrade, the businessmen will manage even if people turn up in large numbers in the markets.” He said that the New Market businessmen are taking all necessary precautions, including not allowing more than three customers in their shops.

Shahr Quazi Syed Mustaq Ali Nadvi refused to comment on the need for a lockdown. “I would only like to appeal to the people to follow the directives of the government and take all necessary precautions,” he said.

Pandit Chandrama Prasad Tyagi of Gufa Mandir, Lal Ghati, said that the people should not crowd temples and mosques and maintain distance even when they visit these places. “People should understand that they will be able to celebrate festivals only if they remain alive,” he said.

People should celebrate all festivals at their homes. In case of Covid, precaution is the only cure. Wear masks, wash your hands frequently and maintain distance from others. More importantly, do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary. People are visiting dams and other picnic spots merely because they are feeling ‘bored’. They are going to markets to buy pan or to buy chocolates for kids. This should not be done. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Dr Balram Upadhyaya, RMO, JP Hospital

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