Ramazan bazaars may open under strict conditions amid coronavirus lockdown

Only people with face masks and gloves will be allowed inside


​ Our Correspondent April 15, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

RAWALPINDI: Each year, the provincial government sets up bazaars in the holy month of Ramazan to offer daily use items at subsidised rates. However, the creation of these markets has been put under a cloud this year due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

However, authorities now say they may set up the markets if standard operating procedures (SOPs) developed by the Rawalpindi administration for vendors and customers are implemented.

For this purpose, a meeting has been summoned next week for preparing the SOPs. These SOPs are likely to include precautionary measures such as safe distancing, under which all 16 Ramazan bazaars in the district will operate. A meeting of traders will also be called for the same day to fix the discounted prices of commodities in the bazaars.

Sources say that only those people will be allowed into these controlled markets who are wearing face masks and gloves. Security personnel, vendors and other workers will also have to adhere to these restrictions.

To ensure safe distancing between people standing in queues, circles would be marked on the ground in front of stalls with limestone. The district administration will also install sanitizing, walk-through gates at the entry points of these bazaars along with installation of CCTV cameras to monitor proceedings in the markets. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2020.

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