Given the recent surge in coronavirus cases, the business hours of the banks in Visakhapatnam have been restricted to four hours per day. On Monday, Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand, announced that all banks will remain open to the public from 9 AM to 1 PM. The statement issued by the Visakhapatnam District Collector further mentioned that the banks have been allowed an additional working hour from 1 PM to 2 PM to administer their internal affairs. The decision was taken by Mr Chand, considering the requests made by the representatives of the unions of the banks.
The Union Ministry of Finance had previously asked the banks to keep all the channels open and ensure branches and business correspondents function during the crisis situation. Banks in Vizag too, which come under essential services, remained open to the public, even during the nation-wide lockdown, albeit with some restrictions to avoid the spread of the virus and ensure safety during the pandemic.
As the nation continues to witness worrying trends in coronavirus cases, banks have been taking safety measures to safeguard their staff and customers. While the staff working at the banks have been reduced, they are also encouraging customers to avail online services instead of visiting the branches.
As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, the public in several parts of the district has already imposed voluntary lockdown. While the voluntary lockdown began in some mandals of Visakhapatnam from the first week of July, residents from PM Palem, Anakapalle, Makavarapalem, Kotauratla, and other areas of the district too placed curbs on their activity in the past week. On Monday, Visakhapatnam reported 317 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 7848. While there were 5103 active cases, 2674 were discharged until yesterday, 71 patients in the district succumbed to the deadly virus, until last evening.