Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Kirana Merchants Association decided on Thursday to voluntarily shut shops in Begum Bazaar, the largest wholesale trade hub, by 5 pm from Friday due to the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.
Shops in the market will be open from 9 am, the association said after a meeting of its executive members. The decision was taken as about 25 traders including association president Laxminarayan Rathi reportedly contracted Covid-19 in recent days.
Association general secretary Mahesh Kumar Gupta, speaking to the media, said, “Considering the spike in Coronavirus cases we decided to reduce the business hours.”
The association asked traders to ensure physical distance is maintained and every shopkeeper must wear a mask and use sanitisers. “If any customer or staff member doesn't wear a mask, remind them. If they don't have a mask, provide them masks,” he said. They also advised not to hire any employee below 18 years of age as it was against the law.
Replying to a question, Gupta said the second wave of the pandemic was more dangerous than the first wave. The self-imposed restrictions will continue until the situation normalises.
In June last year, even as the government-imposed lockdown was lifted, traders of Begum Bazaar and Lad Bazaar apart from many other merchant organisations had voluntarily closed their shops for a week while others had curtailed working hours till the situation improved....