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Vikash Sharma

Ahead of the announcement of the crucial Covid-19 guidelines for the month of September, the Odisha Traders’ Association has urged the State government to provide some additional relaxations apart from lifting the weekend shutdown.

Sudhakar Panda, the secretary of the association said that the daily count of Covid-19 cases are on a declining trend. Keeping that in mind, the State government should not maintain the existing restrictions on the operation of business establishments as the livelihood is getting affected.

“If we look at the trend in the last 15 days, the daily cases of Covid-19 have come down to below 1000 in the State. In its September guidelines, the State government should not restrict timing of business operation and it should be extended to 10 pm instead of the existing 8 pm,” said Panda.

According to Panda, the Odisha government should also consider the lifting of weekend shutdown restrictions (Saturdays and Sundays) which are presently enforced in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri.

“It has been observed that some unscrupulous elements are making a killing by carrying out their business illegally during the weekend shutdowns. The weekend shutdown in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack should be lifted,” Panda demanded.

The association further appealed the State government to regulate rush at crowded markets by holding discussion with local traders’ body so that the possible return of Covid outvreak, especially during the upcoming festive season, can be prevented.

He said the association favours the imposition of night curfew from 10 pm tot 6 am to curtail unnecessary movement of people. It is pertinent to mention here that the restrictions imposed by Odisha government to curb Covid-19 spread for this month will end on August 31 (tomorrow). The guidelines for the month of September are likely to be announced tomorrow.

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