Maharashtra covid third wave fear, days after the Maharashtra government modified the lockdown guidelines and allowed malls to reopen only with fully vaccinated staff, the Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) on Tuesday decided to shut operations across the state saying that they are not able to operate business with less staff.
The move from the shopping malls came as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last week modified the lockdown guidelines and mandated for the malls to operate with fully vaccinated staff only. “It would take at least a month before a sizeable number of staff gets both the doses of vaccine and meets the criteria provided there is no shortage of the jabs,” the Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) said.
It must be noted that the state government had allowed shopping malls to open up last week after months of closure to contain the spread of infections. However, the government had asked the malls to operate only with double-vaccinated employees and also admit only fully-vaccinated patrons.
“In light of the modified guidelines issued by the Government of Maharashtra on 16 August 2021, restraining mall staff from returning to workplace unless they are vaccinated with two doses with a gap 14 days after the second dose, it is unfortunate that malls across the state have decided to close down,” the SCAI said. Citing the malls’ inability to operate, the association said 80 per cent of the staff had received the first shot of the vaccine and the primary reason for not taking both the doses was supply constraints.
“We would like to urge the Chief Minister to reconsider the applicability of this clause for mall and retail staff and allow malls and retail to open if staff is vaccinated with one dose,” it said, adding that a positive decision can help lakhs of people dependent on malls or modern retail trade.
On the other hand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on August 15 said full lockdown will be imposed in the state if people do not follow the protocol, and if the cases continue to rise. He said the people need to act together to free the state and the country from the pandemic.