In view of the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases in Telangana and especially in hotspot Hyderabad, traders in different commercial clusters in the state capital have voluntarily announced a 'lockdown'.
Though the government has already ruled out re-imposing lockdown, traders' associations decided to close the shops for a period ranging from one to two weeks.
While traders in Begum Bazar, a major trading centre in the city, had reduced the business hours a few days ago, businessmen in several other areas decided to down shutters as a precautionary measure.
Some of the commercial centres either fall in containment zones or are close to the worst-affected areas.
Textile traders of General Bazar in Secunderabad voluntarily decided to shut down the business for few days to help contain the spread of coronavirus. Their association voiced concern over the increasing number of cases and said the decision was taken in the interest of people.
The Hyderabad Kirana Merchants Association and the Hyderabad and Secunderabad Sanitary Association have announced that their members will keep the shops closed for next few days.
A similar decision was taken by traders in Troop Bazar, a key commercial hub. Traders in historic Laad Bazar near Charminar famous for bangles and bridal wear also decided to shut the shops. Traders in Patthargatti, also near Charminar, shut the shops from Thursday.
The decision by the trade bodies came amid growing public concern over the spread of COVID-19. With every passing day, the state and Hyderabad is witnessing a new high in cases.
The total number of cases in the state rose to 11,364 on Thursday, out of which 6,446 are presently undergoing treatment. Out of the total tally, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for 6,620 cases. More than 4,000 cases were recorded in the last week alone and 80 percent of them were from Hyderabad and adjoining districts.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi welcomed the decision by the traders of Lad Bazaar and other areas in Hyderabad. He appealed to people to ensure social distancing, avoid large gatherings, wear masks and not to step out unless it is absolutely essential.
"Do not panic. Immediately seek medical help in case you have symptoms of COVID-19 -Protect senior citizens and folks with chronic illnesses," tweeted Owaisi.
-Do not panic. Immediately seek medical help in case you have symptoms of Covid-19— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) June 25, 2020
-Protect senior citizens & folks with chronic illnesses
I also urge you all to get yourself & your families tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible
Inshallah we will overcome this challenge
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President appealed to all to get themselves and their families tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.