Weekend curbs affect businesses across sectors

The semi-lockdown to contain the second wave of the spread of COVID-19 has severely affected businesses across the spectrum.

The business community has been reeling under a severe fall in sales, says Nazeer Babu of Aluva Merchants’ Association. He said on Saturday that the vegetable, provision and other sales had been severely curbed over the past fortnight because of the spread of the pandemic.

“People are afraid of coming out and market places are consciously avoided by the people. This directly affects the volume of sales,” he said.

Even ahead of the pandemic warning before the elections, the sales had been down because of the fears expressed in different fora about the pandemic, he said.

M. H. Majeed of Cochin Fisheries Harbour in Thoppumpady, said that the number of boats calling at the fish landing centre had been reduced by about 60 per cent, largely because of the fear of the pandemic spread. The spread of COVID-19 in other States such as Tamil Nadu had also reduced the number of fishers arriving at the port for various works.

N. H. Shameed, vegetable wholesaler, said that the Ernakulam main market had already been affected by the spread of the pandemic.

The number of lorries arriving at the main market had dwindled also because of the pandemic situation in major supply centres in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.

The Ernakulam main market is virtually deserted on Saturday, he pointed out, emphasising the loss of business because of the pandemic spread.

He said that with Saturdays and Sundays under virtual lockdown in other States, supplies would dwindle considerably and that fresh vegetables would be short because of the restrictions. But he said that there appeared no way to contain the pandemic and restrictions had to be imposed to restore normality.

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