People make most of lockdown relaxations announced in Kerala till Tuesday
The City Police on Sunday resorted to stringent legal action against shop owners and customers who flouted the COVID-19 protocol while trying to take advantage of the lockdown relaxations announced by the State government till Tuesday.
On S.M. Street, 70 persons, including 14 traders, were booked for violating physical distancing norms. Considering the uncontrolled rush, some wayside traders were denied permission to carry out sales along the street. The call to follow a token system was ignored by many traders citing technical difficulties.
By Sunday evening, the police deployment was strengthened near major shopping centres and streets to enforce physical distancing norms. Senior citizens and children found in public places were asked to go home. The police issued warnings to families that took children below the age of 10 years and senior citizens with them for shopping.
Traffic police officers said more regulations would be in place on city roads on Monday to ensure smooth traffic. On Sunday, the entry of a large number of vehicles on city roads had affected the flow of traffic in several locations.
Health Department officials said the huge rush on city roads could emerge as a big challenge in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the days to come.
Meanwhile, the traders on S.M. Street said the police were trying to enforce regulations ignoring the relaxations granted by the State government. In many areas, the checking squads created a lockdown-like situation without permitting the free movement of traders and customers, they alleged.
A section of street vendors also accused the police of disrupting their livelihood in the name of enforcing safety measures. They also claimed that trade unions or merchant associations had not stepped in to support them.
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