Soon after the Pune district administration declared a 10-day strict lockdown from July 14, the city witnessed panic buying in stores, leading to the violation of social distancing norms recommended to check the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The district administration has said that milk supply and medicine stores will remain unaffected during the ten days. However, it did not give confirmed clarification on services that will be affected for the period.
Residents queued up at grocery stores to get necessary supplies for the coming days. “I have to stock groceries to meet needs for the next few days,” said Suresh Jadhav, who had rushed to buy groceries in Hingne Khurd. “Though the lockdown has been announced for ten days, considering the situation, no one knows the time it can be extended till.”
Even with three days to go before the lockdown starts, people fear stock in stores will be over due to panic buying. “I was not aware of the 10-day lockdown in the city from next week, until one customer rushed to buy groceries for the month,” said Kiran Joshi, a shopkeeper from Kothrud. “Citizens are buying in excess as they had bad experiences with the previous lockdown.”
People also rushed to vegetable shops to stock on supplies with longer shelf lives. Most vegetable shops don’t get fresh supply on Saturday as the market is closed, and many feared a shortage due to people storing agricultural produce like onions and potato in large quantities.
Many also queued up at wine shops to buy liquor for the next 15 days. The situation was the same across the city, as people had faced problems in the past over non-availability of liquor.
Shops have also seized this opportunity to urge people to buy good from their stores. A few used the facility of bulk messages to reach out to regular customers to shop before the lockdown, which is to start from Tuesday.
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