Chief minister Mamata Banerjee in a virtual meeting today took stock of the situation arising out of the persistent rain-fall and raging dengue menace which has created panic among the common people.
The identification of one positive Coronavirus case has spread panic among shoppers who are thronging city markets, desperately trying to hoard essential food items in an anticipated closure of grocery shops in the upcoming days.
On the other hand, the lanes of Barabazar are empty, affecting businesses. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, yesterday attempted to pacify paranoid citizens in his address, yesterday, asking citizens to neither panic nor spread panic around them. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also assured citizens to maintain their calm and that there was no need to go on a panicked shopping spree.
To prevent hoarding of goods in grocery stores, the Commissioner of Police has been asked by the chief minister to conduct raids in these businesses. “The last shipment of goods for my store from China arrived on the 26th of January. There has been no supply since then,” said Hemal Khandhar, a costume jewellery store owner in Barabazar.
Daily businesses have dried up as panic-stricken buyers take preventive measures of avoiding crowded junctions while adopting an aversion from purchasing Chinese products.
“Most of the stock available at our stores is from old supplies. Production of goods in China has resumed and delivery is expected to resume after the 15th of April,” said Javed Ahmed, an electronic store owner in Barabazar.
Prominent markets such as Gariahat, Lake Market, and Entally, on the other hand, are witnessing a boom in their businesses. People have been flocking to the market to purchase grocery items such as rice, oil, spices, and other essentials in bulk in the fear of its unavailability due to a city wide lockdown.
While discussions about a possible closure of Barabazar have been doing the rounds, shop owners and businessmen do not wish to keep their businesses shut without a directive from the state government.