A trade organization representative said, “We hope that the biweekly lockdown will break the chain of transmission without affecting livelihoods. We were apprehensive of worse — a stringent lockdown. But this is quite acceptable.”
“Since marketplaces have become the major sources of transmission, the mid-week lockdown may effectively break the chain. Moreover, in the non-essential commodities sector, we are getting an extra day (Sunday) to lock ourselves at homes. We shall work the rest of the four days with greater efficacy,” said Sushil Poddar, president of Confederation of West Bengal Traders’ Associations.
Shopowners at retail markets of daily essentials said that there were reserved days for sanitisation anyway. “Now, we shall align these days with the sanitization days with lockdown days. It is a good move. People will also be able to take a break. We only request cops not to allow rush in the markets on the days preceding and succeeding the lockdown days,” said Shashanka Das of Barisha Market Association.
“This will be a good move to break the chain of transmission as well as make people aware how their recklessness can worsen the situation,” said Biswanath Agarwal, general secretary, Posta Merchants’ Association, who himself fell sick trying to keep the supply chain intact. He has now fully recovered.
West Bengal Vendors’ Association president Kamal Dey said, “The mid-week lockdown will enable them to reorganize the trade and maintain better sanitization and social distancing. Lockdown is now necessary, keeping in mind the scale of its transmission.”
Some of the market associations will hold emergency meetings on Tuesday to discuss if their 72-hour closure can be aligned with the lockdown days.