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Extend lockdown period to contain Covid-19: CAIT


New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged the Centre to extend the lockdown period to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Accordingly, CAIT said that it made this recommendation based on a survey conducted with senior trade leaders of all States.

"Although the traders will be facing several trading, economic and financial challenges, yet in the interest of the Country, the traders are well prepared to extend best services to the nation," the confederation said in a statement.

"However, whatever decision the Government will take, the trading community across the country will follow the same in letter and spirit," it said further.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CAIT's National General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal said the confederation has undertaken a survey with prominent trade leaders of all states of the Country and have come to the conclusion that during these troubled times, "it would be in fitness of things, if the current lockdown period is extended up to April 30, 2020, so to negate any prospect of further spreading of COVID-19".

Furthermore, the letter said that in view of the burgeoning number of cases of Covid-19 in India over the last one week and to add impetus to the Government's overall effort to combat the disease and prevent community spread, the business community stands with "you in solidarity and whatever the decision, the Government takes, the trading community will abide by such decision and follow the same in its true letter and spirit".

"After this period is seen through and after assessing the ground realities on that day, we should plan a staggered exit and start lifting restrictions if the situation permits. Almost all national leaders of domestic trade have expressed grave health and safety hazard to the retailers because of their incessant exposure to the public at large," the letter read.

"Nearly 7 crore small businesses employ another forty crore people and therefore if by any chance the disease starts spreading among the traders of the country then it will have a devastating effect on the entire nation."

The Covid-19 outbreak started in China in December 2019 has morphed into a global pandemic, affecting 203 countries, over one million people and increasing rapidly - European countries, North America and Asia being severely impacted.

In India, the current lockdown will last till midnight April 14.

The lockdown has dealt a heavy blow to commerce. This has led to temporary closure of shopping malls, dine-in restaurants, grounding of aircraft, shutting down of factories and deserted market places.

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