*Representational Image

At a time of COVID-19 pandemic,Ratan Sahu shop in Church road is decked up with pictures of Santa Clause,flowers and lights.The shop remains open for customers.

Sahu shop is not alone.Almost all shops were lit up for Chistmas celebrations.Even the malls and makets across Jharkhand's capital city Ranchi appear decked up amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The Roman Catholic Church has instructed its followers to celebrate annual festival by maintaining distance from each other and wearing mask.The St Paul Cathedral Church is being painted ahead of Christmas.

Along the main roads,shopkeepers in the market areas are hopeful to see a boost in their business.However, amid the coronavirus crisis, not many customers are visible in the markets.

"The celebrations are likely to be confined to homes this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic",said a school teacher belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.

What shop owner of cards and electric bulbs who says he had made more than Rs 3 lakh last Christmas is pessimistic this time."We are not having enough sales but we are hoping to earn more ahead of the festival," said Jhon Minz a shopkeeper.

Another shopkeeper, Surjit Minz said that though the shopkeepers are ready to welcome the customers in the market ahead of Christmas and New Year, consumers are still not coming out in large numbers.

The festival of Christmas is celebrated every year on December 25.

Jharkhand has reported 1708 active COVID-19 cases, 1,10,307 recoveries, and 1,010 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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