Restrictions dampen Eid shopping in Karachi
Many return home empty handed; shopkeepers bemoan losses
There was huge rush of shoppers at the commercial hubs of the city as lockdown before the festive occasion of Eid drew closer on Saturday, however, many went back empty handed as the 6pm shutdown came in to force.
Accustomed to all nigh shopings before Eid, the Karachities found it impossible to go out in glaring sun, shopkeepers told The Express Tribune during a survey of markets.
The usual frenzy at markets ahead of Eid could further the spread of coronavirus and the government imposed fresh restrictions from May 9 to 16 to combat this development.
The number of locals thronging shopping centres of Karachi, including malls in DHA and Clifton, the fashion street of Zamzama, and the ususal haunts of Tariq Road, Zaibunnissa Street, Karimabad, Haideri, Liaqatabad, KDA Market and others, grew exponentially in recent days.
With time restrictions already in place, shoppers settled for readymade Eid clothes to hasten the process, but SOPs were being completely ignored.
Social distancing was all but forgotten, while many shopped without masks. Many of the ladies asked how they would be able to complete their shopping and suggested that timings should increase.
They pointed out that Eid shopping continued till the very last day of Ramazan.
Meanwhile, the shopkeepers said that business had been hit hard by coronavirus. They said that customers were already visiting their shops in fewer numbers and the fresh government restrictions only added to their miseries.
They said that the people do not come to the market during the day due to the hot weather. The traders said that in previous years, business would thrive in the last days of Ramazan. Therefore, they appealed to the government to allow them to remain open during this time.
Later, all the markets and shopping centres were closed by 6pm as per the orders of the government, due to which many citizens were compelled to return home without completing their shopping.
According to the notification issued by the Sindh Home Department, all businesses and markets in the province will remain completely closed from May 9 to 16 under the new restrictions.
However, the ban will not apply to basic necessities shops, bakeries, grocery stores, dairy, meat and vegetable shops. These will be open from 5am to 7pm.
Read more: Travel plans during Eid in jeopardy
Stay home stay safe
Sindh Minister for Information Nasir Hussain Shah on Saturday said that people should follow the SOPs issued by the NCOC and the provincial government to contain spread of coronavirus.
He expressed such views in a statement regarding the third wave of the pandemic which has gripped many countries of the world and wreaked havoc in the neighbouring country.
The third wave of coronavirus is extremely dangerous, he warned the people, adding that the situation has reached an alarming stage. Due to this situation, the federal and provincial governments have taken tough decisions, the provincial minister reiterated, saying that people should be careful and stay at home and should not go out unnecessarily after 6pm.
"Get vaccinated at vaccination centres in the different districts of province established by Sindh government," he advised the people adding, "save yourself and those close to you."
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2021.