Traders in Siliguri have urged the Darjeeling district administration to immediately arrange for Covid-19 vaccination for them. District magistrate S Ponnambalam called a meeting with market committees under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation area and Matigara block to discuss precautionary measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 today.
“The traders have been included in the priority group for Covid vaccination. As per the administration’s orders, we had handed over lists of green grocers, fish sellers, grocers as potential super spreaders. Most of them have completed their vaccination.
“After that, we had given lists of 15,000 traders dealing in edible and inedible items from different markets in Siliguri as the administration asked for. However, later when the vaccination drive was generalized, the traders found it difficult to get their doses, as other people too stood in the queues. We have raised the demand on several occasions that we, potential super spreaders are not getting the vaccines.
“The traders have drawn the attention of officials over this issue and also given a proposal of around seven possible vaccination camps at different markets in the meeting today. They assured us that the vaccination of those traders will be done immediately,” said Parimal Mitra, the president of the Brihattara Siliguri Kuchra Basyaee Samity, an apex body of 72 market committees.
Meanwhile, Mr Ponnambalam said traders had been asked to play an active role in combating Covid-19. They will ensure that all traders wear masks, and have arrangements for sanitization in the markets. In the district, all markets are closed once in a week on a rotation basis for sanitization.
The DM added that the administration will lay more focus on setting up more containment and micro containment zones as Covid-19 cases have remained static in the district. “We will not say that the trend is upward, but it has remained static,” Mr Ponnambalam said.