- Curbs on 91 streets lifted after 50 days
- Only 50 percent of hospitals, clinics resume service
Mysore/Mysuru: On Day 50 of the nationwide lockdown, there was light at the end of the tunnel. As Mysuru was so far able to bend the curve of Novel Coronavirus, shops selling non-essential goods were asked by the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) to open from seven this morning. However, they need to ensure that they down the shutters by 7 pm.
Mysuru is still a Red Zone amid the Coronavirus pandemic and the city is inching towards becoming an Orange Zone with no COVID-19 positive cases for 14 consecutive days – a classification that has to be declared and officially confirmed by the Centre.
After days of seeing only grocery and medical shops open, Mysuru’s commercial areas certainly looked different this morning as the MCC that had banned businesses on 91 streets finally allowed traders to carry on with their businesses. There was heavy traffic and people presence as barricades were removed.
Ninety percent of shops were open on streets including D. Devaraj Urs Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, Ashoka Road, Chamaraja Double Road, Old Santhepet, K.T. Street, New Kantharaj Urs Road, Vishwamanava Double Road, Kalidasa Road, Agrahara, Temple Road, V.V. Mohalla, Gokulam, near Vijayanagar Water Tank, Surya Bakery, Nanjumalige Market, Ramanuja Road, Narayana Shastri Road, Shivarampet, Nazarbad Main Road, C.V. Road, Gandhi Square, Nelson Mandela Road, Dhanvantri Road and other commercial hubs.
Shops selling non-essential items including jewellery, clothes, brassware, metal vessels, hardware, watches, TV and mobile repair shops, electronic shops, computer and peripherals, electronic and garment accessories shops, sarees and clothing showrooms, ready-made textile shops, decorative and novelties, beddings and sofa outlets, tailor and welder shops, automobile parts and accessories, plastic and cosmetic shops opened their shutters after a long hiatus.
As the MCC notification came last evening, shop-keepers hurried to clean and open up their outlets as early as 7 am. On Devaraj Urs Road and Sayyaji Rao Road and Makkaji Chowk that usually opens up at 10 am, employees, salesman and salesgirls of shops were seen standing in front of the outlets hours before the shop owners arrived.
A couple of them told ‘Star of Mysore’ that they had come early as there was a threat of layoffs, downsizing and job security. “At least if we come early, we can be in the good books of our bosses,” they said. After several rounds of dusting, cleaning and rearrangements of goods, decked up and smartly clad mannequins were brought out of cloth shops to attract customers.
However, salons, beauty parlours, spas, cinemas, malls, temples, mosques and churches were not allowed to open and even autos, taxies and buses did not operate as there will be close human contact and the risk is high.
Though the shops opened up early, very few of them got customers early as many customers are scared to venture out and with many still focussing only on buying essential commodities. However, business picked up by noon.
Private hospitals, clinics hesitate to open
Though the Karnataka Government has allowed private clinics, hospitals and nursing homes to open their doors to non-COVID patients on the condition that they immediately report Coronavirus cases to the local health authorities, only 50 percent of the hospitals resumed work this morning.
Some of them are handling only emergency cases with the Outpatient Department closed. Many doctors admit that they would not like to take a risk at a time when thousands of people are coming to Karnataka as train and air services – though limited – have been open.
Reacting on the development, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Mysuru Chapter, President Dr. Suresh Rudrappa told ‘Star of Mysore’ that the COVID-19 positive cases are set to increase with travel restrictions easing up. “There will be a surge and we are not equipped to handle an outbreak. Each hospital has been asked to set up a COVID Ward and in case any positive patient comes to our hospitals, the doctors and the nursing staff will be quarantined and the hospital will be sanitised. Why to take risk,” he asked.
Dr. Suresh opined that opening up of the lockdown after a good control period will lead to community spread.