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Kerala police to book violators, step up surveillance to enforce social distancing norms during Onam

In the wake of alarming situation, police authorities have stepped up surveillance and have booked and fined hundreds of traders and people as part of the Onam special drive in the past few days.

Published: 29th August 2020 05:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2020 12:34 PM   |  A+A-

Despite spike in Covid-19 cases, Onam shopping continues in full swing in the city. A scene from East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram.

Despite spike in Covid-19 cases, Onam shopping continues in full swing in the city. A scene from East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram. (Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Onam around the corner, the City’s markets and shopping places are buzzing with activities as almost every commercial hubs in the city witnessing a huge rush. According to health expert, enforcement of social distancing norms during the Onam festival season would be the key to help prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases in Thiruvananthapuram which already have over 5000 active cases - the highest in the state.  In the wake of the alarming situation, the police authorities have stepped up surveillance and have booked and fined hundreds of traders and people as part of the Onam special drive in the past few days. 

Special Branch ACP Satheesh Kumar M R told TNIE that an average of 200 people including traders was booked for violating social distancing norms. Recently, the state government has brought in relaxation in the restrictions in the wake of Onam festival. “Stringent action will be taken against the violators and our patrolling team are doing rounds in the city markets and shopping places to ensure that the norms are being followed. Over 95 percent of the people are wearing masks but a session of the public especially youngsters are violating the norms. We will be stepping up surveillance during the weekend. Comparatively the rush is less,” said Satheesh Kumar. 

However, according to traders sale is yet to pick up and the business is way low compared to normal business days. There are around 75,000 to 1 lakh business establishments in Thiruvananthapuram. “Now the business is dull. Even the prime vegetable markets are getting 20 to 30 percent business. The regular business have been hit for the past six months and now also things are not looking good for the traders. Many of them wait for Onam to clear their debts. We are hoping that the business will pick up during the days after Thiruonam on Monday,” said district secretary Manoj SS, Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi. 

He said that there are no marriages or functions happening because of the pandemic. “This is the wedding season normally and traders are worst hit because there are no marriages,” he said.

According to him, a section of the people who come out for shopping doesn’t follow rules. “It’s a huge challenge for the traders to keep things under control when the customers don’t behave. They are not patient enough to wait and comply with the guidelines. We don’t have the power to enforce the rules as the police do,” said Manoj SS



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