The wait to hit the gym was finally over for Delhiites on Monday as gyms and yoga centres opened in the national capital after a gap of three long months. These centres were shut to check the spread of coronavirus. The Delhi government Saturday allowed them to operate at 50% capacity.
Gym-owners and instructors have devised plans including frequent sanitisation and slots allowing only up to 50% of their establishment's capacity in accordance with the covid guidelines. The city government has also allowed weddings at banquet, marriage halls and hotels with 50 people in attendance under the phased unlock process initiated with an improvement in the city's covid-19 situation.
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Chirag Sethi, the vice president of Delhi Gym Association, said the fitness industry welcomed the opportunity to reopen while following the guidelines. Sethi, also the owner of Anytime Fitness in Malviya Nagar, said they were allowing gym members to come in about 16 slots of 50-60 people from 6 am till 9 pm.
"People are excited about coming back as they have realised it's important to be healthy to fight covid-19," Sethi told PTI. Along with segregating groups of gym-goers, Sethi has also vaccinated his staff and directed them to sanitise all the equipment frequently.
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"We are also giving discount offers for members who have been vaccinated. We have placed a bottle of sanitiser and a cloth next to each equipment so anyone who uses it can clean it," he said.
The Delhi government had announced a lockdown on 16 April to break the chain of transmission of covid-19, even as the deadly second wave was ravaging the city. At the time, the Indian Gym Welfare Federation had expressed its support for the decision. However, many gym owners had also pointed out the adverse effect of lockdowns on the income of gym staff.
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"If this move is only for 15 days, we support it but in case 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," Sunil Kumar Taank, president of Indian Gym's Welfare Federation Taank had said at the time. "Livelihood of many people is associated with it and majority of the gymnasiums are being run by people hailing from the middle class.
Meanwhile home fitness has boomed through the covid-19 lockdowns, as more and more people are turning to online coaching and buying equipment to set up mini gyms at home.
With inputs from PTI.