Sarojini Nagar Market Opened On Odd-Even Basis, Heavy Crowding Due To Christmas And Weekend Rush

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New Delhi: Sarojini Nagar market on Saturday opened for people following the odd-even rule while enforcement teams of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) removed encroachments to prevent overcrowding in the shops amid rising Covid cases in the national capital.

The Sarojini Nagar Market Traders Association informed that the shops have opened on an odd-even basis but the crowd continued to swell up there due to weekend rush and Christmas, news agency PTI reported.

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The action comes after the Delhi High Court expressed displeasure over people flouting Covid protocols while sharing concern over large gatherings.

The Delhi government on Friday ordered that the shops at Sarojini Nagar market operate on an odd-even basis over the weekend in view of the large footfalls seen at the place in the last few days, amid the spike in COVID-19 cases along with the Omicron threat.

The decision was taken at a meeting of stakeholders of the market where it was also directed that all shopkeepers in the market shall ensure 100 per cent vaccination of their staff in the vaccination camp set up there.

“The shops have opened on an odd-even basis but the crowd is as much as it was in previous week. It is only increasing since morning due to the weekend rush and Christmas. What purpose will be served by implementing an odd-even scheme just in Sarojini Nagar market? Everything else is open, all other markets are open but only this market is being considered a possible super spreader,” the president of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Traders Association, Ashok Randhawa, said.

“If we have to fight with Covid and Omicron, then the norms need to be the same for everyone. There is no restriction on people coming to market but restrictions imposed if shopkeepers are selling stuff to them?” he added, as quoted by PTI.

As per the news agency, the enforcement teams were patrolling through the market and regular announcements were being made to maintain social distance and wear masks.

“In pursuance of the high court order, NDMC enforcement teams are taking a massive anti-encroachment drive in Sarojini Nagar market, along with the Delhi Police team, to ensure that there is no overcrowding in the market today,” a senior civic body official said.

“The administration district has ordered for odd and even wise opening of the shops and tehbazari on weekends. This is being enforced. A meeting was conducted with all stakeholders today in the market to sensitize them about the high court order. No laxity will be acceptable by anyone in the market and the court order will be followed in letter and spirit,” the official stated further.

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Total Omicron Cases In India Reach 415

A total of 415 cases of COVID-19’s Omicron variant have been detected in India so far, out of which 115 have recovered or migrated, the Union Health Ministry’s data updated on Saturday revealed.

Maharashtra has recorded a maximum of 108 Omicron cases, followed by Delhi at 79, Gujarat 43, Telangana 38, Kerala 37, Tamil Nadu 34, and Karnataka 31.

Meanwhile, the Union government has deployed multi-disciplinary central teams in 10 states which are reporting either an increasing number of Omicron and COVID-19 cases or a slow vaccination pace.

According to a Union Health Ministry office memorandum, these 10 states are Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Mizoram, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Punjab.

These teams will be stationed in the states for three to five days, and they will work along with the state health authorities, it stated, as reported by PTI.

The teams will specifically look into areas of contact-tracing, including surveillance and containment operations, and COVID-19 testing, including sending of adequate samples from clusters to the INSACOG network for genome sequencing, the memo informed.

They will also look into enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour, availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics, including ambulances, ventilators, and medical oxygen, and the COVID-19 vaccination progress.

The state-level central teams will assess the situation, suggest remedial actions and submit a report every evening by 7 pm on public health activities being undertaken, besides submitting the same to the state governments, the health ministry wrote.

(With Agency Inputs)

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