Heavy crowds were witnessed at markets in Chittoor district on Sunday in the wake of the announcement that the lockdown would be extended till June 15, with commercial activities allowed only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The Chittoor Municipal Corporation, and municipalities of Madanapalle, Palamaner, Punganur, Puttur and Nagari, witnessed heavy crowds at meat shops and wine shops.
There was confusion among the public that the revised timings would come into force from Sunday. This led to crowds thinning out at market places earlier than the usual deadline of noon.
Many people were found buying onions and tomatoes rather than vegetables. The meat shops did brisk business as many owners had readied limited stocks expecting a moderate turnout.
A big demand prevailed for fish all over, as it can be kept preserved for more days than meat. In view of the huge crowds, municipal staff were posted at markets to control the crowds, but it had little impact. A municipal corporation official in Chittoor said that it was a welcome sign that almost every person on the streets was seen wearing a mask.
A fish vendor felt that the demand for meat and fish had quadrupled in recent times due to people wanting to boost their immunity. “It is a win-win for both vendors and customers, but the need of the hour is to observe COVID protocols,” he said.
As Chittoor district continues to record a record number of daily positive cases and casualties in spite of the lockdown for the last one month, many shopkeepers said that the curtailing of timings for commercial activity from June 1 might result in even more crowding and violation of social distancing norms. Police and civic staff should focus more on enforcing social distancing norms rather than wearing of masks, vendors said.
Crime Today News | Andhra Pradesh