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Opinion

Covid-19 in Delhi: What Traders at Bhagirath Palace Market Say About Closure

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As the number of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) witness a rapid rise in Delhi, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal suggested to the Center on Tuesday that some markets in the national capital, which could emerge as hotspots in the next few days, be closed.

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Officially, the increase in cases, which has been called the “third wave” of the pandemic in the city, was attributed to the holiday season, as people went out in large numbers to buy.

Read also | ‘Third wave of Covid-19 has passed its peak in Delhi,’ says Health Minister Satyendar Jain

Bhagirath Palace Market

Located in Old Delhi, Bhagirath Palace is one of the markets in the national capital that witnessed a massive footfall during the festive season, with neither merchants nor shoppers taking precautionary measures against the virus. Bhagirath Palace is the largest market for drugs and medical products in North India. If it closes for even a few days, the supply of drugs in the region will suffer, experts say.

During the national shutdown, the market was closed twice, but not for more than four or five days, so the supply of drugs was not affected. Furthermore, with thousands of people flocking to the Bhagirath Palace to buy medicine, the Delhi police had banned vehicles. However, merchants have now opened their shops, and hand sanitizers, masks, etc. are being sold. on both sides of the road.

According to the merchants at Bhagirath Palace, implementing the Covid-19 standards here is “extremely difficult.” This, they say, is because the crowd here is huge and merchants have occupied empty spaces outside their stores so the possibility of social distancing in the market is “nil.”

Covid-19 in Delhi

The number of daily Covid-19 cases in Delhi has increased exponentially in recent days. On November 11, the city posted its highest virus count in a single day of 8,539. Just one day later, it recorded its highest death toll from the virus in a single day with 104. With the situation getting out of hand, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah chaired a high-level meeting on November 15. and announced a plan to control the pandemic.

Read also | Daily Covid-19 Tests Will Increase To Over 1 Lakh In Delhi, Says Arvind Kejriwal

On Tuesday, there were 6,396 new Covid-19 cases and 99 related deaths in Delhi, bringing the total number of cases to 495,598, including 7,812 deaths, according to a government bulletin. The government has already ruled out a blockade in the city.

(With contributions from the agency)

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