BHOPAL: The festive season is here. Most of the Covid-related restrictions have been lifted and the people are thronging the markets to make purchases. Despite the drop in the number of fresh infections, the disease has not disappeared and the Prime Minister has already warned the people against lowering their guard.
Free Press spoke to Associations of traders in the city to find out whether and to what extent the shoppers as well as the shopkeepers are adhering to the corona-related precautions. They said that no-mask-no-entry is their standard policy. They themselves wear face masks and provide them to the few customers who turn up without the protective shield.
Satish Gangrade, president, New Market Vyapari Mahasangh
Almost 99% of the customers wear face masks. And we give masks to the one per cent who don’t before allowing them to enter our establishments. All the shopkeepers keep 100-200 masks at their shops and they firmly tell the customers to wear a mask before entering the shops. Besides, we have displayed Covid-protection norms at the shops for the benefit of the customers. The coming days are about to be difficult for all of us and that’s why we are creating awareness on the issue. We are not compromising at all. We are telling the customers ‘Pehle mask phir kharidari’.
Naresh Agrawal, president, Sarafa Association, Chowk Bazar
Most of the customers who visit our shops wear masks. Those buying jewellery come from a particular section of society, which is especially cautious. They are already scared. All our staffers cover their faces with masks and they provide face masks to the customers who come without it at the entrance to the shop and only then they are allowed to enter.
Anil Chaturvedi, president, Bittan Market Vyapari Sangh
Some customers wear face masks, some don’t. If one feels that wearing a mask is important, one would wear it. The traders don’t have a major say in this. Educating the customers is not our job. But what we can do is not to entertain customers who are not wearing masks. And we are doing that. They are aware about the pandemic and what getting infected can lead to.
Wearing face masks is the most important among the corona-protection norms. It is a must. My appeal to the people is that they should strictly wear masks when they step out from their homes. This is the only way they can protect themselves and others.
- Jameel Khan, SDM
There are three important corona- protection norms and wearing masks is one of them. It is a very effective and affordable way to protect people from the deadly novel coronavirus. Mask should not only be worn but it should be worn properly. It should not hang around your chin. It should completely cover your nose and mouth.
-Dr Balram Upadhyay, RMO, JP Hospital