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Home / India News / Panic buying defeating purpose of Covid-19 lockdown: Arvind Kejriwal

Panic buying defeating purpose of Covid-19 lockdown: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked people to refrain from panic buying during the lockdown for coronavirus and assured citizens that there is adequate supply of essential items.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2020 18:47 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Police personnel ensuring that shoppers stand at designated places outside a grocery store.
Delhi Police personnel ensuring that shoppers stand at designated places outside a grocery store. (Raj K Raj)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal urged people on Wednesday not to crowd grocery and medical stores, saying it defeats the purpose of the 21-day nationwide lockdown stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that all shops selling essential items remain open. We assure you that supplies of commodities of your daily need will not dry up. Do not resort to panic buying,” Kejriwal appealed, holding a digital press conference with lieutenant governor Anil Baijal.

Kejriwal also announced e-passes for those delivering essential services, which are exempt from the lockdown, for movement within and outside the city limits amid stringent travel restrictions.

Follow coronavirus live updates here.

The announcement came in the wake of the government receiving several complainants from medical items, milk and vegetable suppliers, who said they do not have proper documents to prove that they are delivering essential services.

“Those who are providing essential services, but do not have a formal ID card to back their claim will be issued an e-pass. Workers at grocery and provisional stores, milk plant and others can avail this,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said a separate helpline number for this purpose will be announced. Applicants can also apply on WhatsApp.

“Those working in factories producing masks, sanitisers and milk will not face any problem once they get the e-passes. They should get the same for their drivers too so that transportation of such items are not affected,” Kejriwal said.

An e-pass will be issued to a person by the office of the district magistrate concerned.

A government circular issued on Tuesday evening said: “By sending details to the authorised mobile number of the concerned district magistrate [published on the revenue department website] or through email to giving their particulars along with relevant documents of identity and the essential service as the case may be.”

Previously, the Delhi Police asked providers of essential services to get “curfew passes” to enter the city. The only way to apply for such curfew passes was to physically go to the offices of deputy commissioners of police and district magistrates and fill up application forms.

The e-pass initiative, government officials said, is likely to reduce the burden on these offices.

Around 2,400 curfew passes were issued till Wednesday 11 am, the police said.