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People throng bazaars with disregard for SOPs

National

May 23, 2020

PESHAWAR: The public thronged the bazaars in droves to do shopping for Eid-ul-Fitr with total disregard for the warnings from the government and the health professionals to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid getting infected with the Covid-19.

Both the general public and shopkeepers did not care at all about the precautionary measures, including observing the social distancing rules and wearing facemasks, as if the pandemic had been overcome. It was observed during a visit to the bazaars in the city that the shoppers were least bothered to following the SOPs. It seemed that shopping was more important than caring for one’s life. The shops selling shoes, garments, and cosmetics were jam-packed with customers with littler consideration for the precautionary measures. The people were going about their business as if normalcy had returned. A government official on duty in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar reminded the customers about the threat of coronavirus pandemic but they did not seem to be heeding the advice. “Nothing will happen,” remarked a salesman Shah Zaman, laughing off the coronavirus threat. According to him, though many people observed precautionary measures, they still believed that nothing would happen to them. The confusing decisions of the government have also led the people to question the logic behind withdrawing ban on business centres for four days and again closing it for three days.

Even the uneducated vendors asked whether the coronavirus pandemic would not affect a person before 4pm. “I am the only person who for the first time did not offer Taraweeh prayers in mosque,” he said, adding that now the people in his locality did not care for protective measures in mosques. “Allah will save us from this pandemic. Nothing will happen to us,” he said, adding: “It seems the government has also left these people on their own to do whatever they want.” A police constable jokingly remarked that it was difficult to educate these people. “They know about coronavirus but they are not worried about it,” he said, adding that the government would again implement lockdown if the people continued to violate the SOPs. He added that it was the joint responsibility of the all the people in the society to collectively play their role and act responsibly as carelessness could be dangerous for all of us.