Coimbatore

Do not turn markets into super spreaders of COVID-19: officials

As festivities kick-in amid COVID-19, places such as Oppanakara Street in the city witness heavy crowd.   | Photo Credit: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

The congregation of people in markets and shopping centres in the city for purchases for Navaratri and Deepavali is causing concern among the authorities, as crowds that do not adhere to safety norms can prove to be super spreaders of COVID-19.

With Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stating on Sunday that gross negligence during Onam celebrations had led to spurt in the number of cases in Kerala, City Health Officer S. Raja called for full co-operation from the public to prevent the spread of the disease during the festival season in Coimbatore.

“A meeting of representatives from all types of shops has been planned on Thursday, at which they will be given instructions to be followed,” he said, adding that action would be taken against violators.

G. Stalin, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) said certain measures from the public could reduce the rush at markets.

“Instead of shopping on Saturday and Sunday, people can choose weekdays. It has been noticed that the majority of the people come for shopping after 5 p.m. As of now, shops are allowed to function only up to 8 p.m. This situation leads to heavy crowding in shops, which can be avoided by scheduling these visits as early as from 10 a.m. Family heads should ensure that bare minimum people go out for shopping, instead of taking all the persons as in the case of shopping in previous years,” he said.

Health and Revenue Departments, the police and the Corporation are now imposing fined on shops that violate COVID-19 safety guidelines.

On Sunday, the police imposed a fine of ₹5,000 each on Sri Ganapathy Silks and Saravana Selvarathnam stores on Oppanakara Street for violating the guidelines, said a senior official.

COVID-19 monitoring squads of the Coimbatore City Police are deployed at busy pockets of Coimbatore for making announcements of safety measures and crowd management.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 8:28:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/do-not-turn-markets-into-super-spreaders-of-covid-19-officials/article32903884.ece

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