A reader sent in this photo of a gathering of people at York Center in Surrey on Friday (March 20). (Contributed file photo)

COVID-19: City of Surrey urged to declare local state of emergency

Surrey Board of Trade and South Asian Business Association issue joint call for action

The Surrey Board of Trade and the South Asian Business Association are urging the City of Surrey to immediately declare a local state of emergency amid the COVID-19 Outbreak.

READ MORE: Not time for state of emergency, Trudeau says, but Parliament asked to pass COVID-19 aid

“I know that this means closing down businesses for a period of time, except for essential services – this is a huge ask. But we must mitigate the spread of germs to counter this virus for the good of our economic future,” Anita Huberman, SBOT chief executive officer, said in a news release Monday (March 23).

The move comes as many choose to ignore directives by the provincial government to self-isolate, the release states.

“Residents and workers, except for essential workers, need to be ordered to stay at home for a period of time. We can no longer leave it to people to self-isolate. Some are just not doing it – compromising others, compromising the future of our city and our nations’ economy,” the release explains.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Surrey residents concerned about social-distancing rules not being followed

SABA president Ken Dhillon said the concern has been seen “time and again.”

“Not only in the South Asian community, but throughout Surrey, that some residents and businesses are not realizing the severity of COVID-19, by continuing to hold large gatherings and not social distancing.”

Both organizations are also calling on the federal government to issue a national state of emergency, “providing leadership from the top.”

“Surrey’s business community wants to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. Extreme measures need to be taken now,” the release states.

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