RAWALPINDI: With Ramazan commencing, citizens openly violated standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the lockdown, as they flocked markets to get supplies for the fasting month.
The district administration had exempted citizens to step out of their houses to purchase vital supplies such as food items for keeping and opening their fast during Ramazan.
However, people and traders took full advantage of the opportunity to come out of the lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in large numbers.
Pillion riding on motorcycles was rampant while all the markets and bazaars, including fruits and vegetable markets, Kallan Bazar, Dalgiraan Bazaar, Ganjmandi, Dungi Khoi Chowk, Jamia Masjid Double Road, Pul Shah Nazar Dewaan, Bohar Bazaar and Raja Bazaar were completely open with shoppers thronging stores.
Shopkeepers were seen selling food items without wearing gloves or masks. A large number of women also turned out in huge numbers to stock up on basic supplies for sehar and iftar such as pheni, tea, milk powder, sugar, white chickpeas and gram flour (besan), sherbets, cooking oil and other such items.
The SOP of social distancing was completely disregarded in the lanes of these ancient bazaars.
After weeks, the city also saw a traffic jam at the main intersections of the city centre.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2020.
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