Srinagar: Unnerved by the reports of another lockdown, Kashmir Inc. has issued an advisory asking shopkeepers to comply with COVID SOPs to avoid shutter-down.
From routine inspection to allowing masked customers, the business fraternity is taking preventive measures to avoid any lockdown.
Kashmir has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 numbers with Srinagar reporting almost 70 percent of the cases in the last few weeks.
District administration held a meeting with traders and urged them to follow Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) in letter and spirit in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
Trader associations said they have asked their members to follow the COVID protocols.
“We have intimated all bazaar committees to follow CAB. Shopkeepers have been told to allow only masked customers. Social distancing shall be maintained in all the business units,” said Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation chairman Muhammad Yaseen Khan.
Khan said traders have also been directed to ensure proper sanitization of shops. “We have informed the shopkeepers and traders that sanitization of shops must be undertaken from time to time,” he said.
Shop owners have also agreed to depute a man to distribute masks among the customers.
“All the shopkeepers have been asked to put up a notice disallowing persons without face masks. Hand sanitizers have also been kept available at all the shops. Shops which have a good flow of customers have placed a volunteer outside their units to check fever and distribute masks among customers,” said Farhan Kitab, President, Kashmir Traders Association.
Former president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad said the traders can’t afford another lockdown given the losses in the last three years.
“Business leaders have appealed general public as well as traders to follow SOPs. We are using social media handles and other mediums to spread awareness. Since Srinagar is the worst-hit district, all the traders have agreed to ensure adherence to the SOPs,” he said.
Traders claim that the sales have declined by almost 80 percent in the last three years. Kahmir Inc. has pegged the business losses of around Rs 10,000 crore due to Covid-19.