Hindustan Times (Jammu)

Majority UP traders not averse to lockdown to break Covid chain

- HT Correspond­ent lkoreporte­rsdesk@hindustant­imes.com

Traders in Uttar Pradesh (UP) are not averse to the idea of the lockdown with many of them seeing the emergency step as the only hope to break the chain of the Covid-19 infection.

Expressing concern over the situation arising from the pandemic in Lucknow and other UP cities, UP Udyog Vyapar Mandal chief Sandeep Bansal on Sunday invited traders to comment on his Facebook page asking them to suggest as to what the government should do to deal with situation that, he said, was turning from bad to worse.

“Is complete lockdown the way out?” he asked.

Majority of them backed the idea of a complete lockdown to break the chain though some differed or suggested alternativ­es.

“It is not possible to control corona without lockdown. And it should be clamped immediatel­y right now otherwise the situation is so bad that even lockdown may not help,” said Anuj Shukla in his reply. “

“A 72-hour complete lockdown alone can help otherwise government will not be able to deal with the situation,” Mohanish Alok Trivedi added. Gaurav Jain went to the extent of suggesting a complete lockdown for a month. “One month lockdown is must under the given circumstan­ces otherwise we will lose more lives,” he said.

Lokesh Agrawal suggested 15 days’ lockdown to break the chain. Mohit Agrawal also said that complete lockdown again appeared to be the only hope under the given circumstan­ce.

Rakesh Karzdar, however, questioned the utility of lockdown. “The objective of lockdown is to stop people from mixing together. The purpose is defeated when people gather in large numbers in markets to buy essentials during the lockdown relaxation,” he argued.

Anil Gupta suggested no lockdown but Covid-appropriat­e behaviour including masking must be enforced strictly in markets while Suresh Chandra Agrawal stressed the need for more testing under lockdown. “The administra­tion must carry out an intensive door-to-door drive for Covid-19 testing in congested areas like Aminabad, Nakkhas, Rakabganj, Thakurganj in Lucknow with complete lockdown there till the drive ends and positive cases are identified,” he suggested.

Amarnath Prajapati suggested that the government must bolster health infrastruc­ture in hospitals rather than mull lockdown.

Naveen Gupta said, “Lockdown or no lockdown, it is the trading community that is to suffer most from the pandemic. The government should increase medical facilities in hospitals,”

Recommendi­ng compete lockdown Bhupendra Pandey said “I support complete lockdown because we must understand the fact that you will run your business only when you stay alive.”

Bansal said different traders had given different suggestion­s but a large number of them had suggested complete lockdown as an effective tool to defeat the virus. “We will apprise the government of traders’ views,” he said.

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