Panic-buying in 5 TN city corporations ahead of intensified lockdown

South India

Keeping aside the social distancing guidelines, people in five municipal corporations in Tamil Nadu stepped out on Saturday to buy essential commodities ahead of a total lockdown beginning from Sunday.

The Tamil Nadu government had on Friday declared total lockdown in Chennai, Maduri. Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Salem in the wake of spike in Covid-19 cases.  

Even though the state announced that licenced wholesale vegetable markets, subsidised ‘Amma Canteens’ and government-authorised vegetable pushcarts will be allowed to operate, Saturday morning saw a heavy rush of people stockpiling for the forthcoming intensified lockdown period.

Around 11.30am, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that groceries and vegetable shops would be allowed to function till 3pm today in the five corporations. This is also applicable to shops in suburbs of Chennai, falling in Chengalpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. The CM requested people to maintain social distancing norms and cooperate with the government

However, the damage had been done by then as vegetables had been sold out in several markets by 10am due to panic buying. In Broadway temporary market in Chennai, all shanties had shut by 10am. In Thiruvanmiyur and Thiruvottiyur, only onions and tomatoes were available.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had tightened the lockdown in the five corporations, saying that the coronavirus spread was edging out of control in urban areas. A total of 725 positive cases have been reported so far across these five corporation areas.

The government has allowed essential medical services such as hospitals and ambulances, diagnostic centres as well as home delivery services provided by companies like Swiggy and Zomato to operate in these areas, but standalone grocery stores and other shops such as bakeries, which have been functioning for a truncated period earlier, were ordered to be shut.

Image Credit: Fidar News

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