New Delhi, March 24: Several Indian cities panic buying on Tuesday night, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement for "total lockdown" down imposition in the nation. Fearful of facing ration shortages in the days to come, scores rushed to their nearest grocery shops and supermarket stores to buy adequate quantity of foodgrains and other essential items. Check Full List of What Remains Open and Closed During the Nationwide Lockdown.
Even as the consumers were struck with panic, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order - which was issued as a follow-up to the Prime Minister's address - said grocery shops, milk stores, pharmaceuticals and other essential services would remain exempted during the 21-day lockdown period. Highlights of PM Modi's Lockdown Announcement.
PM Modi, during his address, had clarified that the government would take all adequate measures to ensure that the supply of essential commodities continues. While he had not explicitly stated in his address that the grocery shops would remain open, the Home Ministry guidelines on lockdown, that followed his speech, confirmed that PDS ration shops and grocery stores would remain functional.
See MHA Order on Lockdown in India
— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2020
Taking cognisance of the panic which gripped several cities following his address, PM Modi took to Twitter to clarify that all essential items would remain available during the lockdown period as well. "By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of COVID-19," he said.
Ahead of PM Modi's announcement, 32 states/union territories of India went into a state of lockdown or curfew to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. The disease has so far infected 526 persons in India, with the death toll climbing to 10. Maharashtra is the worst affected, where the number of infected cases has breached the 100-mark.