Laxity needs a fix, but businesses can’t be locked up indefinitely: KCCI urges admin to formulate reopening policy

Laxity needs a fix, but businesses can’t be locked up indefinitely: KCCI urges admin to formulate reopening policy

Srinagar: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday expressed deep concern at the spike in COVOD-19 cases and the number of deaths in the valley of late.
A statement by the KCCI issued in this regard attributed the spike in the infections in Kashmir to ignoring the prescribed protocols “by certain individuals amongst us” adding that deliberations in this regard were held with various groups and individuals including the Doctors Association of Kashmir, CARE Kashmir, civil society groups, health and medical experts and business organisations.
As a result of the laxity in following the precautions, the four months of continuous lockdown “stands squandered away and Kashmir is in a worse situation than ever before”, the KCCI lamented.
As per the Chamber, the Kashmiri society is presently facing the threat of “two pandemics: Coronavirus and stupidity”, a reference to people violating the precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19.
The KCCI said the need of the hour for the society is to now collectively and sensibly fight “not only the COVID-19 pandemic but also the more lethal pandemic of Covidiots”.
It said that there was a need for maintaining a sharp vigil in the months of June and July vis-a-vis COVID-19 adding that laxity in this regard deserves to be criticized.
The laxity, the KCCI said, “caused the general public to wrongly perceive the gravity of the situation and they were seen thronging public places including parks and picnic spots”.
The Chamber at the same time maintained that people and business establishments “cannot be indefinitely locked up”.
It suggested there be a proper roadmap for unlocking “which the administration had ample opportunity to formulate in the three to four months of lockdown”.
The KCCI said that there will always be a risk of rise in the number of cases when the process of unlocking is initiated while suggesting that the administration and the general public have to be prepared for it.
“But the measures taken so far have left much to be desired and are unacceptable as well as unworkable, ” it added.
The Chamber alleged that the partial shifting of the Durbar to Srinagar this year “appears to have consumed all the focus and attention of the administration”.
It suggested that the offices needed to be given guidelines for intermittent opening and reduction of employee’s for the time being. It further said that the reports and videos on social media about the violation of SOPs regarding testing of incoming laborers had also caused avoidable panic and anxiety in the community.
The Chamber urged that the entry points should be strictly monitored and tests carried out without fail.
It said the fight against COVID-19 rests now on the shoulders of the civil society and the general public.
The Chamber appreciated the role played by the civil society including mohalla committees, Masjid/Gurudwara committees in supporting, feeding and helping lessen the sufferings of the people.
The Chamber urged the administration to keep the livelihood of the business community in mind as they had been undergoing the 12th month of lockdown.
It asked the administration to formulate a policy of opening up of the permissible business activities for the time being so that the unnecessary rush to the markets is avoided and business establishments get an opportunity to move their stocks which would otherwise become dead.
The Chamber also urged leaders and general public to religiously follow the precautionary measures to contain the disease including wearing a face mask.
The KCCI also condemned the recent assault on doctors in Kashmir by people.

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