The Tamil Nadu government’s decision on Friday to impose a complete lockdown in five cities in the state from April 26 onward triggered panic buying on Saturday in several areas in Chennai.
Though Tamil Nadu co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation (AAVIN) said it has stepped up measures to ensure enough supply of milk to the public, including tying up with food delivery aggregators and supermarkets, milk packets were sold out as early as 7 am across many shops in Tambaram, Pallavaram areas which have been brought under complete lockdown. Supermarkets and grocery shops were crowded with people scrambling to stock up on essentials.
Aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19, the state government Friday announced a total lockdown of services from 6am on April 26 till 9pm on April 29 in three cities—Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami also said that a similar tightened lockdown will be enforced in Salem and Tirupur corporations too, from 6am on April 26 and 9pm on April 28. Friday’s lockdown in multiple cities was declared due to the steady increase of cases.
Due to the lockdown, barricades were placed between Sanatorium-Tambaram bridge disallowing the residents to commute to the nearby market in Tambaram causing further congestion. The Chennai police on Friday had closed the arterial roads in Anna Salai and many inner roads in the city to prevent motorists from making unnecessary rides during the lockdown leading to traffic problems in permitted areas.
At the Koyembedu wholesale market, social distancing went for a toss as people thronged the market to stock up on essentials. In areas like Royapuram, a hotspot with 133 Covid-19 positive cases, people were seen standing in long queues outside grocery shops.
After assessing the situation, CM Palaniswami came with an announcement that grocery and other shops that sell necessary items will remain open till 3 pm on Saturday in corporations like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruppur, and Salem as well as in districts like Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, and Thiruvallur.
Tamil Nadu has reported 1,755 coronavirus cases so far while 22 people have lost their lives in the state.
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