Mumbai, Apr 13 (PTI) The announcement of a public address by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray amid speculation of a lockdown led to panic buying by people on the streets of the financial capital on Tuesday evening.
Thackeray is scheduled to address the state, reeling under a fresh spike of coronavirus cases, at 8.30 pm.
Vegetable vendors and general stores selling fast- moving consumer goods saw higher buying from around 5.30 pm when the CM's office informed of Thackeray's virtual address on Tuesday over social media platforms.
Over the past fortnight, Maharashtra has been witnessing a massive growth in daily infections with cities like Mumbai and Pune, and also some districts like Aurangabad witnessing a surge in cases.
The state, which is contributing over half of the daily infections to the national tally, implemented limited restrictions earlier this month, which involved night and weekend curfews.
'There is no certainty about the length of a lockdown or how strictly will it be implemented. It is better to buy essentials,' said a harried shopper in the suburb of Thane.
A shopkeeper, however, said that the panic buying is not as high as the one seen in March last year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a four-hour window for a nationwide lockdown.
Another shopper said the likelihood of some strict measures, if not a lockdown, have been internalised by the consumers over the last ten days due to which essential supplies have already been purchased.
There was increased vehicular movement as the people got out of their homes for shopping. There was an increased police presence as well on the roads. PTI AA VT VT VT