ANDHRA PRADESH

Unlock 3.0: Gyms reopen on a cautious note in city

People working out in a gym at Asilmetta in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.K.R. DEEPAK

People working out in a gym at Asilmetta in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.K.R. DEEPAK  

Gymnasiums in the city reopened to a tepid response on Wednesday after being shut for over four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the Central Government gave its nod for the reopening of gyms and yoga institutes in Unlock 3.0, few patrons turned up on the first day as coronavirus cases continue to be on a steep climb in the city.

A patron who visited a gym on Wednesday said that while he was eagerly waiting to resume working out, it was not entirely an enjoyable experience. “Today was very unusual for those of us who visited the gym after a four-month gap. We were strictly told to not interact with anyone and maintain a safe distance from each other. After using any equipment, we were told to wipe it carefully with a cloth and put everything back in its place,” said B.J.V. Mahesh, a resident of Murali Nagar.

Gym owners, meanwhile, say that they are putting in place all safety measures in order to provide visitors a safe ambience. Gym trainers have instructed their members on what precautions to be taken before coming, while a few gyms have issued slots to their patrons in order to avoid overcrowding.

K. Ganesh, a member of the Visakha Gym Owners Welfare Association, said that out of 130 gyms in their association, most of them are now open except for those in containment zones. “We saw a low turnout on the first day. The association has made gym gloves, masks, and sweat wear compulsory. We are also checking the body temperature of visitors before allowing them entry,” he said.

“We are maintaining a register so that we can alert any member not to come if they are residents of hotspots. We expect an increase in turnout gradually after the members see our safety measures,” he said.

Yoga institutes

Officials from the Department of Yoga and Consciousness (Yoga Village) Andhra University are also gearing up to start public classes soon.

“Generally, our classrooms accommodate 50 people. But due to the COVID-19 scare, we have decided to take only 20 people. For this, we need to increase the number of batches. Arrangements are going on,” said K. Ramesh Babu, Head of the Department of Yoga & Consciousness.

Online yoga classes introduced by the department have been getting a good response. Varsity authorities said that in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of people turning towards yoga has increased.

“A group of 53 persons are practising ‘pranayama’ and 20 persons are taking general yoga classes. A special class is being run for women from 10 a.m. in which a good number are taking part. Pranayama techniques that will improve lung health are being practiced,” he added.

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