21-day national lockdown kicks in as people take to panic-buying of essentials
Two more deaths - the third in Maharashtra as well as the first casualty in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday - have not been taken into account in the all India tally though respective officials from the two states attributed it to COVID-19
Anxious people made a beeline for grocery stores on Wednesday as the 21-day national lockdown kicked in from midnight shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this unprecedented measure as the only way out to break the Coronavirus transmission chain. According to the latest Union Health Ministry update, the number of Coronavirus cases in India rose to 562 while the death toll due to this viral infection was revised down to nine from 10 after the second death in Delhi turned out to be negative.
Two more deaths - the third in Maharashtra as well as the first casualty in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday — have not been taken into account in the all India tally though respective officials from the two states attributed it to COVID-19.
Prime Minister Modi in a nationwide broadcast on Tuesday night asserted in an emotional appeal "with folded hands" that unless India's 130 crore people practise social distancing, the country will lose the war against Coronavirus. Amid reports of panic purchase of essential commodities, the Union Home Ministry asked state governments to check the spread of rumours about shortage of food items. In a communication to chief secretaries and DGPs of all states, the ministry asked them to take action to allay apprehensions and maintain peace and tranquillity.
Online food supply in a mess
. e-retailer Flipkart said it has temporarily suspended its operations and services – including grocery items.
. e-commerce giant Amazon said that it has prioritised available fulfillment and logistics capacity to serve products that are currently critical for customers such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety and other priority products.
. Digital India saw its biggest challenge on Wednesday when smartphone-based leading food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy found themselves in no man’s land as restaurants went out of service and delivery boys were turned back by local authorities.
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