Markets reopens conditionally amid lockdown

Publish: 11:09 PM, May 17, 2021 | Update: 11:09:PM, May 17, 2021

Shafiqul Islam
The government has extended the country wide restrictions of movement to protect the coronavirus infections for another week. However, markets and shopping malls have been kept out of this restriction. That is why most of the business institutions and shopping malls in different area of the capital have opened after Eid. However, many shops and stalls are closed due to Eid holidays. In a circular issued on Sunday (May 16), the Cabinet Division extended the ongoing restrictions on various sectors, including public transport, by one more week to control COVID-19 infection. Which has been executes from Monday. These restrictions will remain in place until midnight on May 23. The conditions of the ongoing restrictions will remain in force at this time. For this, the leave period of the educational institution was also extended by another point.

Some shops in the capital reopened on Sunday after the Eid holiday. However, the number of shops opening on Monday has increased a bit. But no big store has opened. Those will start opening tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday.

Meanwhile, many traders were confused as to whether the shops and malls would remain open as there was nothing clear in Sunday’s notification.
Asked about this, Helal Uddin, president of the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, said, “after the notification of the cabinet, many people want to know whether shops and markets can be opened. To make it clear, I had the opportunity to talk to the Minister of State for Public Administration on my mobile phone. He (State Minister) said that shops and markets can be opened in compliance with the health rules. Helal Uddin said that Eid holiday is going on in most of the shops.

They will open later this week. However, strict hygiene rules must be followed.”
Dewan Aminul Islam, president of the Dhaka New Market Business Association, said “the capital’s New Market would reopen from Wednesday. He said the weekly holiday in the New Market area is usually Tuesday. We have already given notice to open the market from Wednesday the next day. When the number of Covid patients suddenly increased in the country, the government imposed a one-week ban on free movement from April 5. Though it was decided to keep the factories, government, and private offices and banks open in accordance with the hygiene rules, shops and public transport were said to be closed. Traders from different parts of the country including Dhaka’s New Market, Gausia, Mirpur and Gulistan staged protests against the decision to close shops on the occasion of Pahela Boishakh and the holy Eid-ul-Fitr. They demanded to keep the shops and stalls open in compliance with the hygiene rules. Later, shops and shopping malls were opened to give the government a chance to do business before the holy month of Boishakh.”

Restrictions were tightened from April 14 after the infection did not subside. Shops and malls closed again. Later, from April 25, the government allowed shops and stalls to open from 10 am to 8 pm. Initially, the business was closed at 8 pm, but later it was relaxed unofficially. As a result, traders get a chance to do business by keeping shops and stalls open till late night before Eid.