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August 9, 2020

SOPs violated as markets start routine operations

Lahore

August 9, 2020

LAHORE : CLEAR violations of corona SOPs, especially drafted for business and markets by the government were witnessed here on Saturday as most markets started routine operations.

Majority of the city markets and shopping centres were the places where one can witness violations of corona SOPs while the district administration was unable to implement the SOPs.

A visit to various city markets revealed that majority of people, customers and shopkeepers were not using facemasks and sanitizers were also not being used by the shopkeepers and customers.

On the other hand, all shopping malls, big grocery stores and cash and carry stores, posh, middle and lower class markets opened and were full of public, especially women and children.

All cash and carry stores, which were earlier selling groceries, have opened their nonfood sections while other shops in the malls also opened.

“Observing social distancing is a dream, which we can see but can’t implement,” said a senior official of the district administration on anonymity. He said smart lockdown was over. Citizens became relaxed while the district administration was also nowhere to implement the SOPs, he added.

It was observed that the district administration has closed its eyes on the violations and only a marquee was sealed for violating corona SOPs as marriage halls and marquees are yet to open. Violation of one dish was also found at a function on which an FIR was lodged against the owner. A district government’s spokesman said many shops were sealed by different assistant commissioners in various city localities over violations of SOPs.

He said 130 visits were made by ACs and 16 shopkeepers were found violating SOPs and they were imposed Rs 5,000 fine.

“I am asking every citizen entering my shop to wear a mask but many customers didn’t follow my request”, said a shopkeeper at Anarkali. He said either they left the shop or said nothing will happen. He said the market committee did nothing to protect the citizens and implement the SOPs.

One can also witness long queues of vehicles on city roads, traffic jams are being witnessed as they occurred on every normal day. Ichra, Mozang Chungi, Ferozpur Road, Jail Road, Link Road Model Town, Multan Road and other city roads were full of vehicles.

In Johar Town long queues of vehicles were witnessed outside a big mall next to Expo Centre.

Ahmed, manager of a brand shop in Johar Town, said, “They have lost a large number of customers due to implementing of social distancing because customers do not wait and go to the next shop if denied entry.

Customers of small shops were not using sanitizers while there was a great rush of people in small shops at Karim Block Market, Panorama Centre, Anarkali, Liberty, Ichra, Chungi Amarsadhu, Township, Johar Town G1, Wapda Town and, etc. Hundreds of women were seen carrying their kids with them in markets against the SOPs. Shahid, a citizen shopping on Hall Road, expressed his concern over the situation and said if the situation remained the same, corona cases may start to rise.