Merchants' and traders' associations in Aurangabad district are in "wait and watch" mode, following the announcement of fresh set of curbs issued
by the Maharashtra government to control the COVID-19 spread. As per the guidelines issued by the state government, shops that don't sell essential commodities will have to remain shut till April 30 (Friday).
Hospitals, medicals stores, shops selling vegetables, groceries, dairies and bakeries have been permitted to operate. Merchants and representatives from the cloth, automobile and vehicle dealerships met Minister of state for Revenue Abdul Sattar and collector Sunil Chavan on Monday night.
"We want the coronavirus spread to come under control and are willing to cooperate for it, but the economy should also run," said Jagannath Kale, president of the Aurangabad District Vyapari Mahasangh.
Shops that don't come under the definition of essentials should be permitted to operate with some restrictions, he added.
"We have no problem if the timings for these shops are shortened, " Kale further stated, adding that merchants and traders are in "wait and watch" mode and expect some relief from the government.
"We have started acting on the guidelines by getting RTPCR tests done for employees of shops and getting those above the age of 45 inoculated," Kale said.
As many as 1,440 fresh cases of coronavirus were detected in Aurangabad, while 26 patients died of the infection on Monday (April 5), an official said. With this the district's COVID-19 tally has reached 89,929 and the toll stood at 1,814, he said.
At least 72,876 patients have recovered from the infection so far, leaving the district with 15,239 active cases, the official added.