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Covid-19: Delhi markets to reimpose mask mandate amid rapid surge in cases

by Vaishali Sharma
covid mask

As the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi skyrockets, businesses in the national capital are allegedly requiring visitors to wear masks and maintain physical distance. However, doing so has not been without challenges, with dealers complaining that individuals are getting complacent and not following protocols, according to news agency PTI.

Following the Delhi government’s recent reiteration that wearing masks in public places is mandatory and that violators will face a fine of 500, traders are concerned that if cases continue to rise, restrictions will be imposed on markets, which are still reeling from the compound effect of inflation and multiple covid waves.

Furthermore, the national capital reported 2,726 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the most in nearly seven months, according to health department data, and marketplaces are the first to be hit by limitations. According to Ashok Randhawa, head of the Mini Market Association in Sarojini Nagar, businesses have begun to take measures by posting posters outside their enterprises informing clients of the mask rule, according to the PTI report.

Also Read: Delhi reports 2,136 brand-new COVID cases in previous day

“Traders had also stopped wearing masks, but today, I checked all were wearing masks. We are asking customers politely to wear a mask but people have become complacent and we cannot force them,” Randhawa said. The association has also distributed a circular, informing traders about the mandatory precautions to be taken. They are also planning to organise a Covid vaccination camp shortly. Similarly, at Palika Bazaar, traders said that customers couldn’t care less about wearing masks, the report said.

“We regularly ask them to wear masks but people have stopped using them altogether. We cannot ask them continuously because it might impact our business. We can only advise them,” said Darshan Lal Kakkar, president of the Palika Bazaar Association. Kakkar and Randhawa both have expressed concern that the rising cases might lead to more restrictions which might again impact their business.

“Markets are still reeling under the effects of the past two years. Inflation is very high and I don’t think the business will be able to take the impact of another lockdown,” Randhawa said. As per the data, the active caseload has reached 8,840, the highest in six months. On February 6, the number of active coronavirus patients stood at 8,869, the report added.

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