Home >News >India >Delhi unlock: Gymnasiums ready to reopen; yoga centres stay online amid Covid third wave fears

Gymnasiums is Delhi are preparing to open with 50 per cent capacity as Delhi government has allowed them to resume operations from Monday. Several of them have started sanitisatising their facilities before welcoming fitness enthusiasts and are even offering special discounts for customers vaccinated against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, many yoga centres in the city, which have also received permission to reopen, are preferring to continue classes online due to apprehensions over a possible third wave of novel coronavirus.

Delhi government has allowed weddings at banquet, marriage halls and hotels with maximum 50 people in attendance. It also permitted gyms and yoga centres to reopen at 50 per cent capacity under the phased unlock process initiated as the COVID-19 situation improved in he national capital.

Gym owners said that business has taken a huge hit due to the lockdown, and the prospect of a third wave could continue to affect footfalls, but they are ready to reopen.

Chirag Sethi, vice-president of Delhi Gym Association, told news agency PTI that the industry has suffered huge losses over the course of one year as gyms were closed for almost eight months due to the Covid-mandated lockdowns.

"There was no income during this period but still the gym owners had to pay their rent in addition to the fixed electricity and water bills besides helping the staff. This industry has been going through a tough phase. The gym owners do not have any financial support and there is hardly any government scheme. These frequent lockdowns have had a negative impact on the industry. Many gyms have already shut and many are contemplating whether they should continue in the industry," Sethi said.

With the gyms set to reopen, sanitisation of the premises have begun.

"Sanitisation process has begun, machines are being checked. We have reduced 20 per cent staff and only vaccinated staff have been given preference. Vaccinated members can also avail special discount offers on their new packages," Sethi said.

However, Sunil Kumar Taank, president of Indian Gym's Welfare Federation, remains apprehensive about Delta Plus variant of cornavirus and possibility of a third wave.

"Gyms are restarting but we don't have much faith on whether we will be able to carry out business like before with these frequent lockdowns. Now again, we read about delta plus variant and then a possible third wave," he said.

"Business has been crushed completely. There is no guarantee that customers would walk-in like before. We have begun the sanitisation process and are ready for opening tomorrow with 50 per cent capacity keeping in mind all the Covid protocol," he added.

Even as gymasiums in Delhi have begun preparations to reopen, several yoga institutes of the city have chosen to continue classes online due to the fear of a third wave of Covid-19 infections

Neha Vasisht, the founder of Yoga Guru which has several centres across the city, told PTI that she is hopes to restart her classes physically over the course of time but will operate only at complexes where she can conduct classes in open spaces for now.

"We also have a studio in DLF mall but we are not planning to open it anytime soon. We are planning to conduct classes only at places where we have open spaces and maintain Covid guidelines with social distancing norms," she told the news agency.

Dhirendra Singh of Navadha Yoga Health Care Institute in Malviya Nagar, said, "I am not planning to open the centre for now. There has been heavy losses in business but we have online yoga sessions. Even though many of our old members have left the session midway, there are still many who continued with their classes."

Neelam Kala, who runs Yogsaarthi at Lajpat Nagar, said she prefers to continue with her online yoga sessions for some more time till the situation gets back to normal.

"I am planning to continue with my online yoga sessions for now. Business losses is part of life and amid the second wave, I had stopped talking physical classes at my centre. Instead I resumed with online classes. Many who were uncomfortable with online mode chose to discontinue," Kala said.

"But we still do not know how the third wave might hit us so I will wait and see how the situation pans out. Depending on the situation, I would take a call on whether to restart the classes in-person at the centre. But for now I have not got any calls asking for it as many of the customers seem quite satisfied with the online yoga sessions," she further added.

(With PTI inputs)

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