Gujarat opts to not reopen small shops in four cities

Gujarat govt rolls back decision of reopening small shops in four worst-hit cities

Representative image/PTI Photo

A day after Gujarat announced reopening of standalone non-essential shops across the state from April 26, four worst-affected cities in the state including Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, on Sunday rolled back the decision and said that these shops will not be reopened before May 3, the last day of the second phase of coronavirus lockdown.

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"Government has taken an important decision jointly with municipal corporations and district collectors of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot to not permit reopening of non-essential shops till May 3 as was announced on Saturday. The decision has been taken after consulting with the local businessmen," said Ashwani Kumar, secretary to the chief minister in his daily briefing on Sunday afternoon.

CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL COVERAGE ONLY ON DH

He added that in these cities and districts, only essential stores such as milk parlours, grocery and medicine stores will remain open, as was the condition earlier. However, he added, other districts and towns can reopen their non-essential shops barring malls, shops located in the mall or complexes, hair-cutting salons, beauty parlours, paan shops, hotels, restaurants among others.

Officials said that the decision has been taken in view of rising cases of coronavirus in these cities. Till Sunday afternoon, Ahmedabad alone had 2,003 positive cases out of 3071 reported in the state, followed by Surat, 496, Vadodara, 230, and Rajkot 41.