Telangana begins lockdown; people rush for essentials

Lockdown begins in Telangana; People rush to buy veggies, essential items

A labourer wears a facemasks carries a sack of green chillies at a wholesale market following Telangana's State government order for a complete lockdown. (Credit: AFP)

Common people in Hyderabad and other places in Telangana rushed to buy essential commodities on Monday morning as the lockdown announced by the state government till March 31 to contain the spread of coronavirus began.

With the 24-hour 'Janta curfew called by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao coming to an end at 6 AM am on Monday, people sought to purchase vegetables and other essential items.

Several customers at the Rythu Bazar (government-run vegetable market) at Erragadda in the city complained that vegetables were being sold at higher prices.

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Chief Minister Rao on Sunday announced lockdown till March 31 and urged people to remain in homes as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as the total number of COVID-19 patients in the state rose to 27 with six fresh cases being reported on Sunday.

The lockdown was announced under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

As part of the lockdown, all state borders shall be sealed other than for movement of essential commodities, according to a Government Order (GO) that notified the lockdown.

All public transport services, including state-run buses, Hyderabad Metro, taxis and auto-rickshaws will not be permitted, the GO said.

Any congregation of more than five persons in public places is prohibited, it said.

All shops, commercial establishments, offices, factories, workshops, godowns shall close their operations. However, production and manufacturing units which require continuous process such as pharmaceuticals may function, it said.

Banks/ATMs and related activities, Print and electronic media, IT and ITeS, including telecom, postal and internet services and others which provide essential goods and services are excluded from the restrictions.

Sale of vegetables, groceries, vegetables and others is also excluded from the restrictions, it said.

Every person who is required to observe home quarantine shall strictly observe the same failing which he/she will be liable for penal action and shifted to government quarantine, the GO said.

In view of the hardships due to lockdown, all 87.59 lakhs food security cardholders in the state would be given 12 kg of rice per person amounting 3.58 lakh tonnes at a cost of Rs 1,103 crore, it said.

Further, all food security card holding families would be given a one-time support of Rs.1500 to meet the expenditure on other essential commodities such as vegetables at an estimated cost of Rs 1,314 crores, according to the GO. 


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