Mangaluru, May 7: People in Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada early on Friday morning rushed to shops and supermarkets to buy essential commodities in the wake of district administration’s announcement to re-impose tougher weekend curfew.
Consumers had only three hours – 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. – for shopping. By 10.a.m all shopkeepers had to reach their homes as per new restrictions imposed by the administration. Panic buying was witnessed across the city, and even in rural areas, as several people lined up outside grocery stores and vegetable markets.
Several leading markets in Mangaluru city witnessed a sizeable crowd that lined up to buy vegetables, groceries and other essential items, larger than those seen ahead of the weekend lockdown. “People are saying there might be an extended lockdown in the coming week. So, I am here to buy vegetables and fruits,” said a customer, waiting outside a shop at Mallikatte market.
Even medical shops witnessed brisk sales. “We witnessed a similar shopping spree during the first wave of the pandemic,” said a shopkeeper.
However, in a worrisome trend, people crowding outside shops and markets failed to follow Covid-19 protocols.
By 9 am, majority of the shops in Mangaluru City downed its shutters while a few shops that were open were asked to close down by officials. In rural areas like Kumpala and Deralakatte, there was a huge crowd outside the shops even after 9 am.
The weekend curfew comes into force at 9 pm today.