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Delhi's gym owners worry about pandemic curbs and job losses

Gym owners welcome the weekend curfew, but worry that long-term closures may lead to a loss of jobs

Gym owners are worried that a lengthy closure of gyms will affect livelihoods. (Hindustan Times)

The Indian Gym Welfare Federation has extended support to the Delhi government's decision to close gymnasiums till April 30 but said it would be a cause of worry for them if the curbs are extended.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a curfew this coming weekend and the closure of malls, gymnasiums and auditoriums till April 30 as part of sweeping restrictions to break the chain of the covid-19 infection in the city.

The weekend curfew began on 10 pm on April 16 (Friday) and will continue till 5 am on April 19 (Monday), even as gymnasiums, auditoriums, malls, spas, entertainment parks and assembly halls will remain closed in the national capital till April 30.

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The city has been witnessing an unprecedented increase in coronavirus cases and with over 17,000 cases of covid-19 on Wednesday it became the worst-affected city in the country, leaving financial capital Mumbai far behind in the daily tally.

Sunil Kumar Taank, president of Indian Gym's Welfare Federation, said after being closed for over six months, gyms reopened last September.

Owing to the financial crisis during the nationwide lockdown last year, several gyms shut permanently and the business was severely affected, he said.

He said if the closure of gymnasiums is for 15 days then they support the move but if the government decides to extend the curbs beyond the set period, then it is definitely a cause of worry.

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"If this move is only for 15 days, we support it but incase the government plans to extend it beyond the specified time, then we are against the move. Shutting down business will not help curb COVID. The government should instead focus on creating awareness among public," Taank said.

He added "Livelihood of many people is associated with it and majority of the gymnasiums are being run by people hailing from the middle class.

"Our gymnasiums remained closed for over six months and we received no support from the government. Just when we were trying to settle and survive, this sudden announcement to close gyms is again a cause of concern for us."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

    17.04.2021 | 10:00 AM IST

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