SMC closes shops whose owners have not been vaccinated and tested
It also wants them to be Covid-tested or face closure; Surat night curfew extended to rural areas
Surat: With unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has launched a drive for aggressive testing of people while strongly pushing for vaccination.
As part of this, the SMC is ordering closure of shops in crowded markets where owners or employees above 45 years of age are not vaccinated and no tests have been done.
On Sunday, a team of the SMC went out to close shops in various textile and other markets in different areas of the city, including Katargam.
They checked 7,799 shops in different areas. Here, 2,672 people were vaccinated while 4,046 were tested for corona. They found owners of 1,405 shops were not vaccinated and so closed all the shops.
According to the information given by the SMC, shops are being closed in all zones according to the circular to take action against those who do not follow the rules.
Yuvraj Desale, president of Surat Textile Transport Association, said at present only 20% bookings are from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since there is a problem of despatching the cloth.
He says despite the wedding season, traffic has fallen by 40 to 50%. The loading and unloading of parcels could not take place in the Millennium Market on Saturday due to the drive of the municipal corporation.
Commercial Shopping Complex Safal Square at Udhna Magdalla Road was closed after 9 shopkeepers and staff reported positive for coronavirus. The Rangeela Shopping at Ghod- dod Road was also closed on the previous day. The corporation is making efforts to prevent the spread of corona infection.
The authorities have pressed more Dhanvantari raths into service in seven zones in the city and testing has also been increased. Dhanvantari raths were placed for testing in Safal Square and found 9 people positive. So they closed the Safal Square.
Meanwhile, the night curfew currently in force in Surat city has been extended to rural parts of the district from Sunday to curb the spread of the virus, officials said.
In a notification issued on Saturday night, Surat District Collector Dhaval Patel extended the curfew to rural parts of the district from Sunday till April 31.
The curfew will remain in force from 8 pm to 6 am, as per the notification.
Surat is the first district in Gujarat where the night curfew has been imposed in both urban and rural areas.
The collector said such restrictions are needed “to stem the spread of Covid-19 as people are crowding the markets, restaurants and other places in large numbers”.