On Wednesday late afternoon, an order was issued by Mukesh Kumar who has been appointed as the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Commissioner. This order stated that all essential service shops including grocery shops, fruit, and vegetable vendors will remain shut from May 6 midnight to May 15. Two emboldened points that come across in the order are that 'All shops/parlours shall be closed except providing only milk and medicines' and 'All shops/ parlours shall be closed providing fruits, vegetables, and groceries'.
Mukesh Kumar has also stated that all Deputy Commissioners and the Assistant Municipal Commissioners have been instructed to take necessary means to implement the order. Explaining on this, Dr. Rajiv Gupta, MD SNNL, who has been appointed in charge of the activities for curbing COVID-19 in the state of Gujarat said they might lift this order sooner than later. He also claimed that the step was taken to test all super-spreaders of the city for COVID-19.
"Several people who were testing positive had come in contact with these super spreaders. So, this action is taken to keep them in check so that the ones who test positive can be sent into quarantine. People need not panic. As soon as we finish this process, we will lift this order. We have just given ourselves this much time but we might complete before that only," Gupta told Republic TV.
However, several people had come out in the streets of Ahmedabad and all rules of social distancing were also flouted. Several grocery shops and vegetable vendors saw scores of people queuing up to buy from them. Several people also returned empty-handed since many shops had run out of supplies due to panic bulk purchases.
"We had just gone to buy vegetables since they will not be available. But many vendors in our area had run out. We had to wait for 2 hours before we could buy it again," said Pushpen Sharma, a resident of the satellite area of Ahmedabad.