20:27 GMT12 April 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has been under a countrywide lockdown since 25 March in order to combat COVID-19. Since 1 June, the government has started unlocking certain parts of the country in order to revive the economy.

    Markets in India's Delhi may soon be closed due to an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases.

    The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) stated that the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with recent comments by Delhi state Chief Arvind Kejriwal where he spoke of the possibility of 532,000 infected cases in Delhi by July-end, has caused concern among Delhi traders.

    “The traders have become more fearful than before and the Delhi Chapter of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has begun an online survey among the leading trade organisations of Delhi seeking their opinion whether Delhi's markets should be closed,” CAIT's Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.

    Several market associations that Sputnik spoke to said that despite their livelihoods being affected, the alarming rise in the number of cases is dangerous. "If we survive, we would be able to earn tomorrow as well. If markets are open, people would come. So, we are thinking to shut the markets for public health," said Atul Bhargava of the New Delhi Traders’ Association.

    Vipin Ahuja, President of the Delhi State CAIT, said that shops remain open in Delhi but business is only about 5-10% percent of what it usually is.

    “In wholesale markets, customers from outside Delhi are not coming, whereas in the retail markets, local customers are not coming at all, which is directly due to a large amount of fear from COVID-19,” Ahuja said.

    CAIT will hold a video conference with the leading traders of Delhi on Saturday before taking a final decision regarding the closure of the markets.

    According to the Delhi Health department, 34,687 positive cases have been reported in the city and 1,085 people have died after contracting the virus.



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