June 9, 2021 4:06:14 am
As many as 748 shops were closed in Surat on Tuesday after the owners or employees failed to produce report of Covid vaccination or test in a drive by the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC).
The SMC had made it mandatory for shopkeepers to get vaccinated or periodic Covid tests to run their businesses. Health officials launched a drive to check shops in the corporation area after the timing for shops and business establishments to function was extended.
On Monday and Tuesday, officials also carried out surveys and checked 7,194 shops and stalls in all eight zones in Surat city and found that 2,848 shopkeepers had taken the first dose of Covid vaccine, while some of them had taken both the doses. As many as 5,535 shopkeepers, stall owners and employees provided their Covid test reports.
SMC Deputy Health Commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said, “We have started a drive to check if the shop owners and employees have taken Covid vaccine or done Covid test. So far we have distributed 1.39 lakh health cards to this group with details of test and vaccination. The distribution of health cards in all six lakh shops in the city will take a few more days.”
Officials also carried out inspection in vegetable markets and found that of the 4,419 vendors, 1,414 had taken vaccination, while 2,807 provided their Covid test report.
As many as 402 handcart pullers and stall owners did not do either of them and were told to get it done for permission to do business.
Irfan Shaikh from Chowk Bazaar who sells fruits on a handcart had to close his business on Tuesday afternoon, after he failed to show report of vaccination or Covid test.
Talking to The Indian Express, Shaikh (50) said, “I was unaware that I have to keep these records to do business. Municipal officials told me to get tested at the health centre in Chowk Bazaar. The report turned out to be negative. The health centre staff helped me register for vaccination. I was not able to do it as I don’t use a smartphone nor can I read or write. I will take the help of my daughter to check SMS on date and time of vaccination.”
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