The sharp spike in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Hyderabad in the last few days has forced several shops, business establishments and general markets to announce voluntary lockdown for a period ranging from 7-10 days as a precautionary measure.
On Thursday night, Telangana reported a whopping 920 positive cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, including 737 in Hyderabad alone, taking the total tally of the positive cases to 11,364. There were five more deaths in Hyderabad, taking the total death toll to 230.
While the Telangana government continued with relaxations in lockdown for all the business activities except cinema theatres and other places of large public gathering, several merchants associations and traders’ associations decided to down the shutters voluntarily at least for a week so as to prevent spread of the Covid-19.
Pathergatti, a major shopping centre close near Madina in the old city of Hyderabad, wore a deserted look on Friday as the local traders decided to not to open their shops for till July 3. “As the number of cases has been going up sharply, we had no other option but to close down our business activities,” Abid Moinuddin, president, Pathergatti Traders Association said.
Similarly, Lad Bazar, a tourist attraction adjacent to historic Charminar known for selling colourful bangles, was also shut down on Friday. The bangle merchants decided to close down their shops in the wake of heavy rush of people resulting in the possibility of spreading the virus.
Begum Bazar, a popular wholesale market closer to Osmania General Hospital where everything is available at cheaper rates, will also remain closed from Sunday to July 5. “All the merchants have unanimously decided to voluntarily enforce complete lockdown of commercial market in Begum Bazar in the wake of rising number of Covid-19 cases,” Laxmi Narayan Rathi, president, Hyderabad Kirana Merchant Association, said.
Similar decision was taken by the textile traders of famous General Bazar in Secunderabad, who also announced closure of shops till July 5. “As the coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly in our area, for the safety of our customers and our team, the General Bazaar Silk Cloth Merchants Association has decided to close shops from June 25 to July 5,” a notice released by the General Bazaar Silk Cloth Merchant’s Association said.
Hyderabad and Secunderabad sanitaryware merchants at Ranigunz announced closure up to July 5 and merchants of electric appliances at Troop Bazar near Abids decided close the shops from Sunday up to July 8.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation commissioner Lokesh Kumar did not respond to the calls to seek his comments on the decision taken by various traders to close the shops in the wake of increasing Covid-19 threat.