Traders stage protest in Kozhikode, allege COVID-19 restrictions create rush in shops

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Kozhikode: The protest by traders in Kozhikode has revealed the growing discontent against the Covid-19 restrictions in Kerala. The shop owners gathered at SM Street on Monday against the authority’s regulations on operating shops in places listed under C-category. As per the rules, traders in Kozhikode town are allowed to open the shops only on Fridays.

The shop owners noted that they already witness huge crowds during the open days which is restricted to three days a week. If the government further reduce it, it will only result in more crowding, they pointed out.

മിഠായിത്തെരുവില്‍ വ്യാപാരികള്‍ പ്രതിഷേധം നടത്തിയപ്പോള്‍
A view of protest in SM street, Kozhikode

Local body-wise restrictions also create confusion among traders and customers as well.

Opposition leaders, religious leaders like Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musaliyar and other organisations have also responded in a similar way.

The government may witness similar protests from other parts of the state as well.

The categorisation of the local bodies based on test positivity rate is unscientific, many opines. This is primarily due to the lack of sufficient testing. When the testing dips, the positivity rate goes up. The sampling strategy also affects the TPR.

It has been 75 days since the second lockdown started. So far, the government has not declared any relaxations like moratorium or electricity bill waver as they did during the previous lockdown.

The GST department data shows that as many as 20,000 establishments, mostly restaurants, closed since the pandemic started. The protesting traders too fear they will also reach this point if the situation continues.

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