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Shops reopen in Rajasthan; malls, temples continue to remain closed

A shop is being closed by the police personnel as it attracted crowd and failed to ensure social distancing norm, in Ramganj Bazaar in the Walled City of Jaipur, Rajasthan.

A shop is being closed by the police personnel as it attracted crowd and failed to ensure social distancing norm, in Ramganj Bazaar in the Walled City of Jaipur, Rajasthan.   | Photo Credit: Rohit Jain Paras

Police close several shops as Walled City of Jaipur witnesses a heavy congestion on roads

Except the hotspots where curfew was clamped to check the spread of COVID-19, shops and offices reopened in all the towns in Rajasthan and the traffic on roads became normal with the movement of private and commercial vehicles on Monday. The State government’s guidelines for the fifth phase of the lockdown gave wide-ranging relaxations to the public at large.

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Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asked the people to remain alert saying the COVID-19 remained “very much a threat” and the fight was still on. “Our safety lies in following the guidelines of personal hygiene and social distancing. We need to take all precautions compulsorily until we overcome,” he said.

Under the guidelines applicable till June 30, the State government has done away with the zone system for classification of districts according to their infection cases. Though the Union Home Ministry has permitted opening of shopping malls and places of worship from June 8, they will continue to remain closed in the State.

The Walled City of Jaipur, where curfew had been in force since March 26 for prevention of community spread, witnessed a heavy congestion on the roads, as the people ventured out to buy essential items. Policemen forced the closure of several shops where a huge crowd had gathered without paying attention to the social distancing norms.

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Jaipur Police Commissioner Anand Srivastava said 23 containment zones around the houses of COVID-19 patients had been identified in Ramganj, Galta Gate, Manak Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Kotwali and Nahargarh areas in the Walled City, where curfew would remain in force. Some densely populated narrow lanes and markets in the Walled City will also remain closed.

Historical monuments and tourist places reopened after over two months of closure. The Department of Archaeology and Museums organised cultural events and performances by folk artistes at 32 monuments, including in Jaipur. The monuments will open four days a week for the first two weeks in June and will later open daily for the tourists.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Swarup, who issued the guidelines for lockdown 5.0, said the new rules were aimed at “cautious resumption” of normalcy through precautionary and safety measures. The timings of prohibitory orders on the movement of individuals were changed to 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., as against the earlier 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., with the exemption to essential services.

While the Union Home Ministry has permitted opening of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services from June 8, only home delivery and takeaway services by these establishments will be allowed in Rajasthan. The sale of food items through shops, stalls and kiosks was allowed with the adherence to social distancing norms.

According to the guidelines, the prohibited activities will include international air travel, metro rail services, educational institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, bars, auditoriums and social, political, sports, cultural and religious congregations. Along with the relaxations, the State government has announced a community awareness programme to be launched for telling the people about safety measures as well as fines for violation of rules.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 6:06:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shops-reopen-in-rajasthan-malls-temples-continue-to-remain-closed/article31724736.ece

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