Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said that the rapid growth in COVID-19 cases has resulted in a 50 per cent fall in footfall of consumers in retail markets across the country. The organisation also said that the night curfew, partial lockdown and other preventive steps imposed by various state governments have caused a panic in the minds of consumers, resulting in a loss of 30 per cent business in retail markets in the last one week.
"Due to the imposition of night curfew, the transportation of goods from one state to the another has been badly affected, almost 15 to 20 per cent," said BC Bhartia, national president, CAIT.
The organisation's claim is based on feedback from its trade leaders in different states including Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT said. Myths and false information on the WhatsApp have added to the confusion, they pointed out.
According to CAIT leaders, night curfew, lockdown and other restrictions during the last week have been futile in bringing down the number of COVID-19 cases.
"On April 5, India reported 96,563 positive cases out of which high surge states reported respective numbers - Maharashtra (47,228), Delhi (3,548), Gujarat (3,160), Punjab (2,692) Karnataka (5,279) and Chhattisgarh (7,302). Since then Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh have all imposed various restrictions like night curfews and lockdowns. As on April 9, India reported 1,45,384 positive cases, which is a 50 per cent increase from April 5, the day restrictions were announced," they said.
Since the beginning of the second wave of COVID in the country, CAIT has been emphasising that night curfew or lockdown are not the only solution to curb COVID. "In order to deal with the pandemic, CAIT has constantly maintained that in association with stakeholders, the government should formulate a well thought and strong strategy to combat pandemic," they said.
CAIT assured the willingness of more than 40,000 trade associations of the country representing about 8 crore traders to join hands with the government in its bid to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
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