RAWALPINDI: As per the directives of the government to impose Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), all shops and markets were closed for a week on Saturday.
Traders in Raja Bazaar and adjoiningmarketsin the garrison city kept their shops closed. In the morning, however, shopkeepers in Bara Market tried to open their shops but they had to pull down the shutters soon after arrival of army and police personnel.
However, most of the shopkeepers in Bara Market remained present in the area waiting for a call from the traders association to open the shops. In the meanwhile, stallholders did a roaring business. In Raja Sultan Market, police sealed some shops after they were found open. Mostly workshop owners had opened their shops in the morning. A complete shutdown was observed in the cantonment areas, including Saddar, Chaklala Scheme-III and other main markets.
However, the market of birds and animals on College Road was allowed to open for two hours daily to feed the animals and birds and bring them in the open air. In this regard, the deputy commissioner issued special permission to feed the animals and birds but not for sale or purchase.
Rawalpindi Traders Association President Sharjeel Mir told Dawn that some incidents occurred in the markets but trader leaders stopped shopkeepers from opening to avoid further spread of the virus.
Deputy Commissioner Anwarul Haq directed the administration to implement the closure of markets order and take action against the violators.
He said the government had imposed a ban on mass function and gatherings under the new SOPs and all markets, educational institutions, cinemas and private offices and businesses will remain closed. He said that all religious, political and other gatherings had been canceled due to the increase in the Covid-19 cases in the district.
Assistant Commissioner Murree Mohammad Iqbal Sanhaira visited various hotels and reviewed the implementation of the SOPs. He told the owners that there was a complete lockdown during the Eid holidays and all entertainment venues would remain closed. He said if any tourist was found staying in a hotel strict action would be taken against him. He said during the Eid holidays and lockdown, officers of the administration and the police would jointly check hotels and guest houses. If any complaint was received, immediate action would be taken.
The assistant commissioner visited Hotel Ambassador, Second Home Hotel, Murree City Hotel and Hotel Fakhar International.
Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2021