New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) After panic buying of essential commodities in the national capital, the anxiety about the three-week lockdown has begun to subside as people have started prioritising social distancing than crowding at grocery and shops of other essential daily items.
People thronged the grocery after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening announced 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain spread of Covid-19. The lockdown will be in force till April 14.
"I rushed to the local grocer after the PM's speech. It seemed the daily-need items might go off the shelves. Fear of black marketeering of essential commodities was also there.
"But today, I see people standing in a queue and following the mantra of social distancing while purchasing essential items", said Preeti Arora, a resident of Malviya Nagar in south Delhi.
Pictures of people standing at a distance from each other while making purchases were trending throughout the day on the social media. For example, a grocer in Gujarat made rings outside his shop and asked people to stand within them and wait for their turn.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar briefing the media after a cabinet meeting urged people not to panic and resort to panic-buying, as there was no shortage of essentials. He requested people to stay at home, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and visit a doctor in case of symptoms.
"The 21-day lockdown is important. Spend quality time with your family and don't resort to panic-buying. Essential items will be available throughout the country," said Javadekar. He also stressed social distancing to contain the Covid-19 transmission.
At the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ministers were seen observing social distancing, a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. They were seen seating at a decent distance from others.
Tweeting a picture of the Cabinet meeting, Union Home Minister Amit Shah wrote: "Social distancing is the need of the hour. We are ensuring it..are you?"
Gagan Verma, a Saket resident, said the social distancing had replaced panic-buying. "Today, I had gone to the local grocer and felt happy to see people maintaing distance. Everything appeared disciplined," said Verma.