Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], April 25 (ANI): A day after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a complete lockdown in the State from April 26 to April 29, the vegetable markets of Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai saw huge crowds on Saturday despite the nationwide lockdown in place.
Gaurav, one of the several people who rushed to Chennai's Koyambedu market to stock up essentials, told ANI: "Usually I come to the market only twice a month. However, today I came here as CM Palaniswami has announced a complete lockdown for the next 4 days."
When asked about the threat of catching the infection while visiting a crowded wholesale market, he said, "I believe that hunger is scarier than coronavirus. Hence, I took the risk of coming to the Koyambedu market to stock up on vegetables as this 4-day lockdown might get extended by 6-7 days."
Echoing similar feelings, Bhaskaran, another person who took the risk of visiting the Koyambedu market, said that the sudden rush in the market would not have had happened if the Chief Minister had announced this in advance.
"Everyone headed to the market as they got scared when the CM announced 4 days of complete lockdown in the State. With this, the situation here has gone out of control as no one is able to manage the huge crowd," he said.
He further said, "In such crisis the prices of vegetables also tend to go up, thus increasing the hardships of people."
A similar situation was seen in BB Kulam farmers market in Madurai and in Coimbatore.
On April 24, Chief Minister Palaniswami had announced a stringent lockdown, saying: "There will be a total lockdown for four days in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai from April 26 to April 29 from 6 am to 9 pm. In Salem and Tiruppur, total lockdown will be in effect from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 28."
As per the morning update by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is currently at 1755, of which 866 have recovered and 22 have lost their lives.
Tamil Nadu's total count puts it at the sixth spot in terms of number of cases among all States and Union Territories in India. (ANI)