May 20, 2021 7:34:56 pm
Shop owners and their employees in Surat city will have to show their health card containing weekly Covid test and vaccination reports to health department officials who will visit their shops from Friday. Those who fail to do weekly Covid test will be warned and penalised.
Shops will reopen on Friday after a notification by the state government instructed them to close for three days.
The health department had issued around 80,000 health cards to shopkeepers and their employees in eight zones in the city, a month ago. Shopkeepers fall in the category of super-spreaders as several customers visit these shops daily.
Surat Municipal Commissioner BN Pani said, “The aim is to prevent infections from shop owners and employees. Health cards are given to shop owners after they undergo Covid test. Shopkeepers have to get tested weekly and if they fail to do so, we will warn them and penalise them if they flout it further before resorting to stricter action for non-compliance… Shopkeepers who have taken two doses of vaccination and also those who got recovered from Covid-19 will be exempt.”
Sources in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) said that there are over 2.30 lakh shops registered with the corporation, while there are many more which are not registered. Shop owners and employees will have their individual health cards.
“Shopkeepers have to undergo Covid tests every week which are done free of cost. We are doing aggressive testing on daily bases and our teams carry out over 30,000 RAT and RT-PCR tests. Our teams will also guide them to get vaccinated,” Pani added.
SMC Deputy Health Commissioner Dr Ashish Naik said, “We have issued health cards to those who have not got Covid-19 yet and those who have taken two doses of vaccines… We will soon cover more shops.”
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