With the removal of lockdown restrictions in Uttar Pradesh, markets across Lucknow resumed post a halt of 51 days. Nearly 1,275 small and large establishments including the famous Hazratganj and Aminabad markets revived operation and crowds thronged out on the roads, in small numbers. All the shopping centres will be functional till 7 PM in the evening on the weekdays and a 12 hour night curfew shall be observed thereafter.
Citizens out on the streets after 39 days
Shops dealing in a range of items including clothing material, jewellery, utensils, cosmetics, hardware, electronics, furniture and all other facilities have been reopened today. On the first day after a 39-day long lockdown, small groups of shoppers flocked to the market centres. Amongst the notable sites in the city, Bhootnath market witnessed usual traffic jams on its streets, as seen during earlier times prior to the pandemic.
Notably, the largest crowds of individuals are being observed at electronic shops and the demand for refrigerators, coolers and other summer essentials has gone up. Most of the shop-owners are permitting entry of only masked individuals after proper sanitisation. Additionally, certain centres have a helpdesk at the entry, where details of the customers are being recorded first. In spite of this, the situation remains to be alarming because proper social distancing rules are nowhere in sight.
Shop-owners expect financial stability amid fears of a 3rd wave
Cheered by the resumption of their business, the shopkeepers expect that Lucknow's shopping scene will revert to normalcy soon. Some retailers affirmed that they are unable to repay back their loans despite sufficient stocks in the warehouses, due to the stalled businesses during the past two months. A number of them believe that it may take a long time ahead till the finances are brought back on track but the fear of an anticipated third wave still lingers on. While the pandemic affected all facets of public and private life, the magnitude of problems faced by the retail sector is remarkably high.
Caution necessary to evade revived acceleration of the contagion
Given the increased crowding on the city roads, it is very important to practice all COVID-related guidelines. In view of this, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sanjay Bhatnagar has instructed authorities to conduct random sampling for RT-PCR tests at frequented spots like the city markets. It is important to ensure that no individual becomes the source of an uncontrolled chain of infections.