Several markets have voluntarily closed in Telangana’s Hyderabad due to the rising cases of the novel coronavirus. The Hyderabad Kirana Merchants Association decided to close the Begum Bazaar, the largest in the city, from June 28 till July 5.
The ever-bustling markets around Charminar has also closed due to the pandemic.
The footfall in markets and business establishments has decreased drastically in the last four days as the state started reporting more than 500 new cases a day due to increased testing. Telangana on Thursday reported 920 fresh cases, with 737 cases in Greater Hyderabad Municipal corporation areas.
Although there is no lockdown in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana, several urban local bodies and panchayats are keeping markets in their areas closed to prevent the spread of the infection through crowding.
Even though they are facing losses, shop owners are in support of the voluntary closure. “The infection is spreading fast. If we keep the shops closed, people won’t come and spread the virus. We are facing losses, but this is for the greater good. Shopkeepers will be safe and so will people,” D Bansilal, a bangles shop owner, said.
The total number of positive cases in the state rose to 11,364, with areas under GHMC worst affected. While 4,688 people have been treated and discharged, the death toll stands at 230.
A large number of doctors and police personnel have tested positive in the last few days as well.
On Friday, five security personnel of Home Minister M Mahmoud Ali tested positive.
At least 28 doctors and 48 paramedical staff at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), 35 doctors and 40 paramedical staff at Osmania Hospital, and 16 doctors at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Kakatiya Medical college in Warangal tested positive for the virus.
The state has stepped up testing manifold and declared 50,000 samples would be screened in the city and neighbouring districts with high caseloads.
(With inputs from Sreenivas Janyala)
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