Chaos gripped the nation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown in his address at 8 pm on Tuesday evening. Citizens flocked to the supermarkets to buy essentials items, therefore crowding the markets and rendering the concept of social distancing redundant.
On Wednesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed people to not unnecessarily crowd grocery and medical stores, saying it defeats the purpose of the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
In a digital press conference with lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal, the chief minister said, “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 also announced 'e-passes' for people involved in delivering essential services that will operate despite the complete lockdown. Since lockdown travel restrictions are stringent, these passes will allow the holder to move within and outside the city limits.
“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.
“Those working in factories making 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,” the Delhi CM added.
The office of the district magistrate concerned will be issuing the e-pass.
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 [email protected] giving their particulars along with relevant documents of identity and the essential service as the case may be.”