Covid curbs back in Panchkula; Sector 7 traders create scene

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Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2

High drama was witnessed at the Sector 7 market here as shopkeepers refused to shut their shops when the police went there asking them to close their shops in view of the directions issued by the district administration today.

The traders kept their shops open till 6.30 pm. Later, however, they brought down the shutters after being persuaded by the police.

Sanjeev Goyal, general secretary, Panchkula District Chemists Association, said not a single chemist was allowed to open after 5 pm while bars and restaurants were allowed to operate till 9 pm.

Shopkeepers argue with the police in Sector 7, Panchkula, on Sunday.

Rakesh Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 12, said he visited a number of markets in the city to get a medicine as a member of his family had fever. He said he was surprised to see all chemists in the city closed. Later, he was able to get the medicine from a medical store of a private hospital in Sector 21. He said the district administration should have allowed medical shops to remain open to enable residents to purchase medicines in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, in exercise of powers conferred under provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, District Collector Mahavir Kaushik has extended the period of “Epidemic Alert-Safe Haryana” till 5 am on January 12.

As per the orders, all cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes in the district will remain closed. Along with this, all sports complexes, stadia, swimming pools (except for the purpose of training of players participating in national and international competitions and for organising national and international competitions) will remain closed. All entertainment parks and B2B exhibitions have also been banned. In government and private offices (except for emergency/essential services), only 50 per cent staff will work. Malls and markets will also be able to open till 5 pm. Bars and restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity. Only those who have received both doses of the Covid vaccine will be allowed to enter public places such as vegetable markets, grain markets, bus stands, railway stations, parks, religious places, bars, restaurants, hotels, department stores, ration depots, liquor shops, malls, shopping complexes, petrol pumps, CNG stations, yoga centres, gyms, fitness centres, government and private offices and banks.

The orders further state that truck and auto-rickshaw unions should only allow those persons to operate their vehicles who have received both doses.

Those who have received the first dose of the vaccine and have time to take the second dose will be exempted.

The orders state that those violating the Covid protocol such as not wearing masks and not following social distancing will be fined Rs500. Any institute found violating these rules will be fined Rs5,000. According to the orders, there will be a ban on movement from 11 pm to 5 am.