ISLAMABAD-The Sunday bazaar stallholders on Sunday protested in front of the National Press Club here to demand the government to allow businesses to reopen at the earliest.

They said their children were forced to go hungry as they have been unable to work for two months. A large number of shopkeepers gathered in front of the press club with some holding placards to press the government for their demands. The protesters said that they were daily-wagers too and claimed that the government had not supported them. They said that there were 25,000 families in the federal capital whose breadwinners were daily-wagers and alleged that not a single one of the stallholders had been selected for the Ehsaas cash disbursement programme. They demanded that the government allow Sunday bazaars to reopen too.

MarkaziTanzeemTajiran Pakistan Chairman KashifChaudhry said that businesses have been closed for the last two months and traders were suffering losses.

He demanded of the government to announce reopening of businesses within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Islamabad district administration has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for citizens returning from abroad.

According to the SOPs, all passengers will be taken directly to a private or government-run quarantine centre depending on their choice. They will stay at the centre for two to three days while they are tested for the virus and their results are received. If they test negative, they will be allowed to go home, otherwise they will remain at the quarantine centre. If their condition worsens, they will be taken to either a private or a government hospital depending on their choice.

Passengers who choose to stay at a private quarantine centre and get treated at a private hospital will have to pay their own expenses, according to the SOPs.