Jewellery traders and shopkeepers in Madhya Pradesh's Indore city have decided to observe a partial lockdown in order to prevent crowding in markets amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, an official said on Tuesday.
The decision was taken by bullion traders following discussions with the local administration, said Basant Soni, the vice-president of the Indore Silver-Gold Gems Merchants Association.
"We have decided to keep our shops open from Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 7 pm and shut them completely in weekends," he said.
As many as 10 bullion traders have died of coronavirus in the city in the last six months, he said, adding that the decision of partial lockdown was taken, as there has been a rise in number of COVID-19 cases.
The local administration is in touch with various business organisations to find ways to prevent the viral spread, an official said.
However, some traders' organisations contend that similar talks should be held with representatives of shopping malls and companies running retail stores.
"If organisations in the city's traditional markets are following partial lockdowns after discussions with the administration, then shopping malls and companies running chains of retail stores should also take similar initiatives," said Ramesh Khandelwal, president of Ahilya Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
Meanwhile, establishments supplying raw materials to pharmaceutical units have also decided to observe a partial lockdown.
Shops supplying raw material to pharma plants will remain open from 10 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday, while staying shut over the weekends, said J P Mulchandani, general secretary of the Indore Basic Drug Dealer Association.
However, these establishments will provide their services in case of emergencies, he added.
Indore has so far recorded 20,383 COVID-19 cases, including 509 fatalities.
At present, there are 3,874 active cases, including patients under home isolation, in the district.