As Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday night, anxious shoppers logged onto the internet—to order groceries—in anticipation of any announcement of a lockdown by the PM.
On Tuesday evening, after the prime minister’s address—Albinder Dhindsa, CEO and Co-founder, at online grocery platform Grofers took to Twitter to say that over 6,00,000 carts were created on the platform and awaited a checkout.
“600,000+ Number of carts on @Grofers created and waiting to check out if a lockdown was announced by the PM,” Dhindsa posted on Twitter at 9:09 pm.
Modi’s address started at 8:45 pm. The country, however, has not announced a lockdown.
PM Modi instead urged states to impose a lockdown as a last resort.
“I urge states to use lockdown only as a last resort,” PM Modi said, according to a news report by Hindustan Times. He added that states should refrain from a lockdown and focus on micro containment zones instead.
Dhindsa’s tweet reflects the panic and anxiety Indian households are currently facing as the country battles a surge in covid-19 cases. As more cities and states go under lockdowns, with provision to open only essential stores, it is only natural that consumers are stockpiling on packaged food, cooking oil, soaps, cleaners etc.
Even though states have ensured opening up of essentials’ stores and fast-moving consumer goods makers are certain that supplies remain intact, consumers are pantry-loading in case a longer curfew is announced.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra limited the operating timings of grocery stores and vegetable stores directing them to open from 7 am to 11 am. When Delhi announced a six-day lockdown earlier this week, queues gathered outside liquor stores and kirana shops.
On Tuesday, India reported a total of 2,59,170 fresh coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, with over 1,700 deaths. The country is battling a surge that has left citizens scrambling for medical supplies, created a severe shortage of hospital beds and cracked the country’s healthcare infrastructure.
In his address PM Modi, applauded vaccine manufacturers for their achievements while asking them to scale up the production capacity. He also urged states to allay concerns of migrant workers.