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Panic buying follows confusion after PM’s speech, Delhi toll is now two

NEW DELHI: Panic-struck people queued up in front of grocery stores and ATMs in Delhi and NCR soon after PM Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown of the entire country, as part of the government’s stringent efforts to tackle coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came as one more person infected with the virus succumbed on Tuesday evening in the national capital. The patient was admitted at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.

This is the second death case in Delhi. The first person was a 68-year-old woman. Her son, who had an international travel history, had also tested positive. “As soon as I heard the speech my family members rushed to the store. We were late as people had already queued up. The PM said grocery stores will remain open, but we are just stocking supply for the next few days, just in case the store does not open. We have a child back home and milk is essential,” said Surveer Singh, a resident of Ghaziabad.

Abbas, a Delhi resident, said people are seen buying vegetables in bulk for at least next two weeks. “I am buying 15 kg onions, tomatoes and potatoes for my family,” Abbas said. Sameer Arora, who runs a store, said that items are just flying off the shelf as people are buying supplies for next two months. “I had no plan to open the shop on Tuesday but after the PM’s speech, I started getting frantic calls from customers. People are scared,” said Arora, who runs Vishnu Grocery store.