Coronavirus Outbreak: Mumbai wears a grim look on Day 1 of lockdown; many rush to hoard items

Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 11:03 | Saumya Gourisaria
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    As the number of positive cases of the novel Coronavirus crossed the 600 mark, India heeded to Narendra Modi's request of staying at home. 

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    A few people immediately stepped out of their homes to stock up. According to shopkeepers, it was exactly this kind of behaviour that was causing an issue. The state government and BMC have requested citizens to calm down and ensured a steady flow of essentials.

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    Many claimed they had run out of essential items, while some were worried their stock of vegetables may not last three weeks and feared there won't be a continuous supply of the items. Many rushed to medical stores to stock up medicines as online portals had allegedly delayed the deliveries.

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    However, in his second address to the nation, Modi made it clear that essential services would be provided to everybody. He also took to Twitter to say, "My fellow citizens, there is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. The Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this."

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    As Mumbaikars wouldn't stop crowding and hoarding items, Palghar police registered 183 FIRs against owners of shops, hoytels, restaurants etc. 

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    The total number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has gone up to 124 as two more persons tested coronavirus positive on Thursday, health officials said.

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    Till Tuesday, 2,988 people were admitted to isolation wards of hospitals since January 18, while 932 persons were in hospital quarantine for suspected exposure to the virus. As many as 14,502 people were put under home quarantine, officials said.

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    As far as life under lockdown is concerned, it was announced that there would be no newspaper delivery in Mumbai till March 31.

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    Many organisations who were either working from home or had limited staff, shut shop temporarily. The government also assured that they would provide rice at Rs 2 instead of Rs 27.

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    While the Sabarimala temple festival was cancelled, Vaishno Devi temple was also shut for devotees.

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    In the United Kingdom, Prince Charles, who's first in line for the throne in the British monarchy system, tested positive for the deadly novel coronavirus, according to the British media.

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    Mumbai Cricket Association also postponed all matches amid 21-day lockdown in the state.

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    Inspired by photos outside a mall in China where the management drew circles on the floor to maintain social distancing to curb coronavirus spread, people in parts of Maharashtra have started implementing the same.

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    Circles and squares, drawn with safe distance separating them, indicate the spot where people should stand and wait for their turn to make purchases.

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    The state government and BMC requested citizens to calm down and ensured a steady flow of essentials. While most complained of a shortage of packaged food items (Maggie, butter, bread etc), food grains and spices were available. Medicines and milk were other causes of concern.

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    According to reports, a woman who passed away on March 24 was tested positive for Coronavirus, taking the death toll in Maharashtra to 4.

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    In some places, police officers staked out roads and highways, stopping motorists and demanding to know why people were outside. Several states have closed their borders, forcing cargo trucks to simply park by the roadside.

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    Flipkart, the country’s largest online retailer, found it so difficult to move people and goods that it suspended delivery of everything except food. But after authorities assured them, their services resumed. 

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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his constituency in Varanasi via video conferencing. During the address, he urged people not to discriminate against frontline workers, including healthcare workers and cops.

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    The Prime Minister said that doctors must be treated like Gods during the current situation as they are helping us fight novel coronavirus pandemic.

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About The Gallery

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown of the entire nation in order to curb the spread of novel Coronavirus among the citizens. However, a few went into panic-mode and rushed to the streets to hoard items. Newspaper delivery was also closed in Mumbai until March 31.

(Photos by Pradeep Dhivar, Suresh Karkera, Sameer Markande, Ashish Raje, Sayyed Sameer Abedi, Bipin Kokate, Nimesh Dave, Satej Shinde/mid-day photographers)