Hyderabad: Due to rising concerns unleashed by the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state and the Omicron scare, all cultural activities at the 81st edition of the All India Industrial Exhibition (AIIE), popularly known as Numaish, have been ordered to close immediately.
On 3 January, Numaish was suspended only till 10 January as per the directions of the state government but the Hyderabad police have directed Aditya Margam, the secretary of the Exhibition Society, to close the 46-day exhibition immediately.
Amid concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant, the Exhibition Society decided to voluntarily shut down the annual trade fair on 2 January.
The exhibition began on 1 January with a motto to follow all due precautions carefully. For the first time, the popular event began in a low-key fashion. A vaccination station was also set up under the purview of the district health officers.
Around 1,600 stalls were set up by various traders from different parts of the country. From dry fruits and nuts to clothing from various states and cities, including Chennai and Kashmir, were already set up at Numaish.
In the past, the Industrial Exhibition could not take place only on two occasions. During 1947-48, Numaish could not be organized following events leading to the merger of the Hyderabad state with the Indian Union. Numaish was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Exhibition Society suffered a loss of nearly Rs. 12 crore for not conducting the event last year.
Additionally, in a bid to ensure that social distancing is followed, 200 stalls were reportedly reduced at Numaish this year.