Coronavirus: PM Modi, Home Ministry clear the air around panic-buying for essential goods amid lockdown across India
The 21-day complete lockdown of the nation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi an hour back has caused a lot of panic and anxiety among the citizens. And this has resulted in something that Modi has been urging not to indulge in — panic buying.
To make matters clear on what will be available and avoid the situation of panic buying in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a statement clearing the air around the question of the availability of essentials.
People queued up outside grocery shops after the announcement
No reason for panic
According to the statement, “All commercial and private establishments will be closed with the exception of shops, including ration shops (Under PDS) dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, and animal fodder.”
The statement also read that district authorities may also encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.
Additionally, banks, insurance offices, ATMs, internet, telecommunication and broadcast services, capital and debt market services (as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India) will also remain open.
The statement also emphasised the suspension of all transport services — air, rail, and roadways — with the exception of transportation of essential goods, fire, law and order, and other emergency services.
Minutes after the release of the statement, Modi tweeted,
He assured that the government will make sure that all essential items will be made available and the citizens mustn’t panic.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan also tweeted:
Coronavirus cases in India have risen to 519, with 10 deaths reported from the infection. The complete lockdown is aimed at stopping the spread of the virus that started in Wuhan, China, and today has taken over the world. Currently, nations like Italy, France, and the USA are fighting a life and death battle to control the spread of the infection.
(Edited by Suman Singh)