Panic buying of essentials, petrol in Kashmir amid Coronavirus scare

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By KNT on 20/03/2020.

Panic buying of essentials, petrol in Kashmir amid Coronavirus scare

Srinagar, Mar 20 KNT:  People in Kashmir, particularly in summer capital Srinagar, have started to stock essential commodities and fuel amid novel Coronavirus scare.

Ignoring calls to avoid assemblies, the residents in many parts of Kashmir valley particularly Srinagar on Thursday resorted to panic buying amid a scare over deadly Coronavirus disease.

As per news reports, people in large numbers visited bank ATMs, shops and petrol pumps in many parts of Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag and Baramulla to stock food items and fuel.

Long queues of vehicles could be seen lined-up at petrol pumps across Srinagar city to get fuel. People were also seen lined up to get cash outside ATMs, in different parts of valley which have started to go out of cash.

Reports of people crowding grocery and general stores were received despite administration assured that effective services and supplies will be ensured.

“We have purchased essentials, including onion, potato, different type of pulses and dry milk following Coronavirus. I have also stocked medicine of my mother,” Imtiyaz Ahmad of Zaldagar Srinagar said.

“Complete chaos was seen on various places. People rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps & stocking up on essential supplies,” another resident from Pulwama said.

Reports said barricades and concertina wires remain erected at many places in downtown Srinagar and on the roads that lead towards the old city.

The area within 300 metre radius from the house of the 67-year-old Coronavirus patient in Khanyar locality has been sealed, officials said.

Reports said that restrictions have been also imposed in several areas of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said restrictions on the movement and assembly of people was to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The restrictions on public gatherings, assembly and movement in many areas are aimed at avoiding spread of any likely cases,” he tweeted and urged people to cooperate.

In hospitals, there were not many people around. Even the health staff was in a sort of scare.

In the periphery, there were reports of the armed forces moving around in certain north Kashmir areas suggesting people how to manage the looming crisis.

Despite the restrictions in the valley following the Coronavirus scare, the SKIMS Soura here functioned normally.

Witnesses said that despite restrictions patients are visiting the institute without any difficulty. However, they said the people are advised by SKIMS authorities to avoid making public gatherings, avoid undue visits and follow health advisories.

As per an eye witness, “All the departments in the institute are functioning normally and patients are entering and leaving the institute normally.”

Patients across the valley he said can easily come here and get treatment.

The Coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 9,000 people across the globe, according to an AFP tally Thursday based on official sources