Businesses—big and small—are pleading with the authorities not to create a fear psychosis over people going shopping for the festive season as they follow the strict health guidelines when welcoming their clients.
Businesses suffered heavily during coronavirus related lockdowns from March to May. They had to let go of their biggest sales season in March-April due to countrywide lockdowns imposed to contain COVID-19.
Listed companies had their worst earnings seasons from April to June as their earnings sank by 58 percent to Rs.17.7 billion, according to First Capital Research.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, who is also the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19, said he has been receiving calls, particularly from small businessmen, who are pleading not to impose lockdowns, specially in Colombo during the festive season as this was the time for them to earn a living.
Silva said at the moment there are no such intentions to isolate or lockdown Colombo as they have bought the spread of the virus in the city largely under control.
Last week the Director General of Health Services published a rigorous set of guidelines for business establishments and people to follow during the Christmas season when going out for shopping and celebrating the festivities.
According to some, these guidelines, which broadly asked people to limit Christmas shopping and stay indoors, have created an unnecessary fear psychosis among the public.
However, what was issued was a set of guidelines for the safety and the wellbeing of the public and not diktats.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has indicated that the government will continue to deal with COVID-19 as effectively as they can while keeping the country’s economy open, which could otherwise take a far greater toll on the people than the virus.