New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): The shops in the area around Delhi's Jama Masjid are awaiting customers ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr with the place missing its usual festival buzz and hustle-bustle due to the situation created by the threat of coronavirus.
There is extended lockdown and social distancing norms have to be followed strictly to prevent the spread of the virus. People have mostly stayed indoors since the first lockdown was enforced in March.
Mohammad Rehan, a shopkeeper selling 'sewain', said there were few customers.
"It is Eid on Monday but the shops mostly do not have customers at present. There is the threat of COVID-19 and the purchasing power of people has also gone down," Rehan told ANI.
Delhi government in its lockdown 4.0 guidelines has allowed the markets to open but shops have to follow odd-even rule to transact business. The government has also allowed all essential, stand-alone and neighbouring shops to operate.
Shopkeepers said that there used to be so much more activity with people eagerly coming for shopping but this time the buzz is missing.
Akhlaq Ahmad, a cloth shop owner, said he had not seen such a situation in the last 40 years.
"Customers are not coming due to the situation created by coronavirus. I have been in this shop for the last 40 years but till date such a situation has not arisen. We have opened the shop on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. I use to sell clothes till 3 am in the morning but now we hardly have customers even in the day," he said.
Nargis, who was at a shop selling `sewain', said there is less variety compared to the past.
"I came here to savour different varieties but many shops are closed," she said.
Mohammad Salim, a customer who was in the market, said people have suffered a loss of income due to conditions created by coronavirus.
"We are still in lockdown. Most of the shops are closed. Mosques are also not open. I will celebrate the festival staying at home," he said.
Eid-ul-Fitr depends upon sighting of the moon. It marks the conclusion of the holy month of Ramzan, which is a month of fasting and prayer.
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, said on Saturday that Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on May 25.
"It is important that we take precautions and maintain social distancing. We should stay away from shaking hands and hugging. We should follow the government's guidelines," he said. (ANI)