RAWALPINDI: All markets and shopping malls are open in the garrison city but implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government is not being observed, due to the indifferent attitude of the district administration and traders associations.

Punjab government had asked traders to not let too many people gather in their shops, maintain physical distance among customers and disinfect shops on a daily basis.

Shopkeepers, however, say that it is the responsibility of customers to wear face masks and gloves.

According to a visitor, Mohammad Irfan: “There was a rush in Narankari Bazaar and Sabzi Mandi and no distance was maintained in streets and shops. Shopkeepers did not stop people from gathering in their shops.”

Another visitor, Fayyaz Ahmed said that shopkeepers themselves werenot wearing face masks and gloves.

“How can they inform people about safety measures? Traders want to earn money without following safety measures. There are no sanitisers in shops, something that was made mandatory by the government,” he added.

Talking to Dawn, Rawalpindi Traders Association President Sharjeel Mir said: “Traders had been asked to close shops by 7pm and the association would help the government to implement.However, it is the duty of people to adopt safety measures and maintain distance. It would be difficult for shopkeepers to maintain social distance among customers.”

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020