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Panic buying in Imphal ahead of 10-day curfew

Panic buying in Imphal ahead of 10-day curfew
Panic buying ahead of 10-day stricter curfew in Imphal’s Thangal Bazar on July 17.
Correspondent IMPHAL, JUL 17 | Publish Date: 7/17/2021 1:50:32 PM IST

With the Manipur government announcing a 10-day curfew, there was a mad rush at shops in Imphal city on Friday.

Two days ago the state government announced the imposition of stricter curfew for 10 days beginning from Sunday (July 18) to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

Since then, panic buying was witnessed across the city and in the market places in the outskirts of the city, as several people lined up outside grocery stores ahead of the 10-day curfew.

Traffic jams were also witnessed at almost all the streets across the city since morning, giving  a hard time to police in controlling the traffic till late this evening.

Like in the previous day, a sizable crowd lined up to buy grocery items, vegetables and other essential items in bulk.

People made a beeline in front of a few shops to buy their daily needs across the twin capitals of Imphal West and Imphal East.

Even as vegetable markets remained closed, people were seen thronging at vegetable vendors on the sides of the streets across the city. 

Because of the heavy flow of traffic, main streets of the capital city like Nagamapal, Wahengbam Leikai, Keishampat, Thangal Bazar and BT roads witnessed snarls. “People are afraid that they will not be allowed to step out of their homestead during the 10-day long curfew. So, I am here to buy grocery items and vegetables to meet the need during this period,” a customer, waiting his turn outside a shop in Keishampat Junction said.

“We had not witnessed such a shopping spree even during festival season,” said a shopkeeper.

Even medical shops witnessed brisk sales.

However, in a worrisome trend, people crowding outside shops failed to follow COVID-19 protocols.

After wide prevalence of Delta variant of COVID-19 coupled with rapid increase in the daily spike of the corona virus infection cases, Manipur government on Friday ordered stricter curfew for 10 days beginning from Sunday (July 18).

While passing the order, the state government stressed on the need to take stringent measures to break the chain of transmission.

Ahead of the passing the curfew order, the state chief minister said that in view of the alarming Covid situation in the state, there will be a strict curfew from July 18 to July 28. 

He added that all institutions will remain closed except for essential services such as medical services, water supply, power supply, telecom/internet services, air travel and agricultural activities. 

Further, only the people coming out for vaccination and testing will be permitted to venture out during this curfew.

State forces along with CRPF will be deployed for strict enforcement of the curfew, he cautioned.

Following the order of the state government, magistrates of all the districts of the state have also issued separate orders promulgating sub-section 2 of section 144 of CrPC, 1973.

The orders prohibited movement of any person outside their respective residences for 10 days with effect from July 18 to July 27.

The orders also listed the activities which will not be covered by the curfew which included among others print and electronic media among others.

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