Is the news on partial lockdown in Visakhapatnam from tomorrow worrying citizens? Yes, says the rush of people witnessed at Rythu Bazaars, local markets, and grocery stores on Tuesday. With the rise in the number of positive Covid-19 cases across the State, AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced a partial lockdown, closing all shops after 12 noon. This is effective from 05 May 2021.
The news, announced on Monday, created panic among the citizens. Many started rushing early Tuesday morning, to shops, and markets, in order to stock up on vegetables, groceries and other essential items. On Tuesday, MVP Rythu Bazaar, which is one of the major bazaars in Visakhapatnam, witnessed a large number of people. Even the parking slots, at the bazaars, are flooded with vehicles, and even have people waiting outside for parking. There were people standing in queue lines to get onions and tomatoes practicing no social distancing.
Though the State Government has said that the shops and markets will be open from 6 am to 12 noon, many of them assumed that even the vendors wouldn’t turn up to sell anything. “We are told to open shops for a limited time and that is how we can earn in a day. But hearing about the partial lockdown, there are hundreds visiting rythu bazaar today. With no social distancing, the spread of cases is quite worrying to us. Selling raw mangoes, in particular, we decided to open the stall only if any customers require mangoes,” said Srinu, a vendor at Rythu Bazaar.
Even the officials at the local rythu bazaars are unable to keep the rush following the Covid norms. Some of the citizens we have spoken to are not aware of the curfew restrictions. As per the State Government, after 12 noon only medical emergencies are allowed to be open while all other shops are strictly closed. Also, people, who are outside after 12 noon, would need to give a valid reason, for the emergency that has made them leave their homes.
“As it is a partial lockdown, we are worried that there might be a rush of people visiting stores, so we thought we could stock necessary things for two weeks”, said Kumar, a resident of Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.