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Eid shopping not coming to end despite lockdown

Rawalpindi : Violations of lockdown ahead of Eidul Fitr continue unabated in different parts of the city and authorities concerned seem helpless before the shoppers and the shopkeepers who are glove in hand to cheat them.

Crazy scenes of rush could be witnessed in Sadiqabad Bazaar, Service Road area of the same locality, as well as Moti Bazaar and Raja Bazaar where shopkeepers are openly doing business with half shutters down and in some cases the entire shop, is open while stalls along the roads in these markets have sprouted up to deceive the local authorities. In violation of lockdown on Saturday, Barra Market was sealed early morning on Sunday.

In many instances, the traders have set up their merchandise outside their shops to deceive the police who often visit the markets to check the situation. But as soon as the police vehicles make their way towards the said bazaar, traders immediately close the shutters of their shops portraying that they are doing business from the road. The government should also ban roadside business in the coming week to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The countrywide Eid holidays will start today (Monday) and continue till May 15, however, the government of Punjab imposed restrictions throughout the province from May 08 to stem the spread of the coronavirus during the Eid holidays. Non-essential businesses and tourism sites have been closed and travel across the country is restricted from 8-16 May. But the public seems to be at war with the administration as they continue to roam freely in the aforementioned market. Although the majority is using masks to cover their faces, their mere presence in the market is a complete violation of the government orders. The traders of the area must be blamed for flaunting the violations as it is they who are enticing the public to come out of their homes for one last-minute shopping which is not coming to an end for the past three days. The traders when asked claim they have suffered lots of losses during the previous lockdown and this year too they had brought a good quantity of merchandise for Eid celebrations and if they don't use such tactics they will not be able to make a good 'Eid season'.

Well, you can call it greed at the expense of national interest. One can say it is an individual's sense of responsibility to not become a source of spreading coronavirus and the people should realise that these measures have been necessitated by the government due to extremely dangerous situation which has been created in the region with the spread of virulent mutations of the virus particular the situation in neighbouring India. We should realise that it is need of the hour that we should exhibit our sense of responsibility and not venture out unnecessarily.