The Patan municipality in Gujarat on Wednesday issued an order mandating small traders, street vendors, shop owners, who can fall into the ‘super spreader’ category, get themselves vaccinated by Friday to continue their business.
“It has been observed that despite a long duration vaccination drive carried out through camps… a majority of traders and vendors are not coming forward to get vaccinated due to rumours, beliefs, superstition or false fears. Such type of people can become a medium of spreading the pandemic. Such type of negligent behaviour cannot be tolerated looking at the public health of the citizens of the town,” says the order.
It said that after an urgent meeting convened for the matter, and after in-depth discussions and deliberations, it has been decided that all those small traders and vendors will have to get compulsorily vaccinated by April 16, and those who don’t, will not be allowed to carry out their businesses in the town.
“From April 17 onwards, forced personal lockdown will be imposed on such traders and vendors, who do not get vaccinated and it will be strictly implemented. The municipality, with the help of police, will form teams who will carry out the inspection. The vaccinated persons will have to produce cellphone messages or certificated copy or card issued after the vaccination, when asked by the authorities. If they fail to produce, their shops will be shut down and they will be sent home,” says the order.
Talking to IANS, the civic body’s Chief Officer Panchabai Mali said that they were trying to convince them since a long time, but a majority of small traders and vegetable vendors do not understand.
He said five specific centres have been set up where they can get themselves vaccinated between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Mali said that there are a total of around 6,000 small shop owners and around 2,000 vegetable and other cart vendors, out of which only around 10 to 15 per cent had been vaccinated.
Patan is among 10 cities of the state where the most Covid cases have been detected and is among those where night curfew has been imposed.