'Can no longer survive': Maharashtra traders protest new COVID restrictions

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MUMBAI: Traders in some parts of the state on Saturday opposed the new restrictions imposed by the Maharashtra government to curb the surge in the coronavirus cases.

With the state reporting highest-ever daily rise in cases on Friday, strict, lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed in districts such as Beed, Latur and Osmanabad.

Social gatherings of all kinds have been banned till April 30 across the state.

Traders in Beed district on Saturday held a protest rally opposing the restrictions.

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“We can no longer survive if business activities are suspended again. We are ready to follow COVID-19 protocol but business activities should not be stopped,” said a trader.

BJP leader and leader of opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar said, “It is absolutely wrong to implement measures that will hamper business activities.

“Some business activities have picked up pace and their business was settling down. If we slow it down again, the consequences will be severe this time,” Darekar said.

NCP leader and state minister Chhagan Bhujbal visited some market places in his home district of Nashik and appealed people to wear masks properly.

“I saw several people, vegetable vendors, shop owners not wearing masks. I appealed them not to do so. Otherwise they will force the administration to take steps like lockdown,” Bhujbal said.