As Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday night, concerned shoppers logged on the internet – to order goods – in anticipation of any announcement that the Prime Minister will close.
Tuesday night, after the prime minister’s address – Albinder Dhindsa, CEO and Co-founder, on an online grocery platform Grofers took to Twitter to say that over 6,00,000 trolls had been created on the platform and are waiting for a checkout.
“600,000+ Number of trolls on @Grofers created and waiting to verify if the Prime Minister announced closure,” Dhindsa posted on Twitter at 9:09 pm.
Modi’s address started at 8:45 pm. The country, however, has not announced closure.
Instead, PM Modi urged states to enforce lockdown as a last resort.
“I urge states to use lock-down only as a last resort,” PM Modi said, according to a news report from Hindustan Times. He added that states should refrain from locking in and focus on micro containment zones instead.
Dhindsa’s tweet reflects the panic and anxiety currently facing Indian households as the country battles a surge in covid-19 cases. As more cities and states become locked up, with provision to open only essential stores, it is natural for consumers to pile on packaged food, cooking oil, soaps, cleaners and so on.
While states have secured the opening of essential stores and fast-moving consumer goods manufacturers are assured that supplies remain intact, consumers load up a pantry in the event of a longer curfew being announced .
On Tuesday, Maharashtra limited the operating timings of grocery and vegetable stores and directed them to open between 7 am and 11 am. When Delhi announced a six-day lockdown earlier this week, queues gathered outside liquor stores and kirana stores.
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 serious shortage of hospital beds and cracked the country’s healthcare infrastructure.
In his PM Modi address, he commended vaccine manufacturers for their achievements in asking them to increase production capacity. He also urged states to allay the concerns of migrant workers.