Serpentine queues at shops ahead of partial lockdown


Panic buying was witnessed across the city on Tuesday as thousands of people lined up outside grocery stores and vegetable markets ahead of a partial lockdown that comes into force across the State from May 5.

Serpentine queues were witnessed outside government banks and ATM kiosks, in scenes reminiscent of the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Centre in March last year.

For the most part, people wore masks and followed physical distancing while standing in queues, aware of the gravity of the COVID situation. A heavy rush was witnessed at wholesale shops in One Town, Kaleswara Rao Market, Bhavanipuram, Kothapeta, and Patamata on Tuesday.

“There is a possibility of a total lockdown being imposed as COVID cases are on the rise. Many patients are succumbing to the virus and a debate is on over the need to impose lockdown,” said C. Seetha, who had come to buy vegetables at Patamata Rythu Bazaar.

Long queues were seen at rice and oil mills, with people buying provisions for the next three months. A huge rush was witnessed at wholesale egg traders, dry fruit shops and fruit stalls.

Curfew-like situation

A lockdown-like situation prevailed at many places in Krishna, West Godavari and East Godavari districts, as police mobilised forces to prevent public gathering and to implement the curfew.

In West Godavari district, Secretariat staff were making door-to-door visits to identify positive cases and primary contacts in villages. Barricades were arranged in containment zones at Kalla, Bhimavaram, Undi, Palakol, Narsapuram and other mandals.

Police intensified patrolling in Tanuku, Eluru, Polavaram, Kovvur, Jangareddygudem, Buttaigudem, Jeelugumilli, Rajamahendravaram and other places, said Eluru Range DIG K.V. Mohan Rao.

Public announcements

Police used public addressing systems to caution people not to come out of their homes unnecessarily. Bluecolts, Rakshak, Sodhana and other police vehicles were seen patrolling through Krishna district.

“There is no need to panic as essential services have been given exemption from curfew. All medical shops, milk booths, drinking water kiosks and other emergency services will remain open. We request the public not to gather at shops,” a police officer said.

“We have senior citizens at home, and the medical shop owners are not giving the required medicines for the past few days citing shortage of stocks of some brands. So we are making rounds of medical shops to buy the emergency medicines,” said V. Sriram, an engineering student.



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