Even Covid failed to teach them a lesson!

Tipplers queuing up at a wine shop during the period of curfew relaxation in Visakhapatnam Photo Vasu Potnuru

Tipplers queuing up at a wine shop during the period of curfew relaxation in Visakhapatnam Photo Vasu Potnuru


No matter what, people throng wine shops, markets throwing corona protocols to wind

Visakhapatnam: Despite the partial curfew (18 hours a day) imposed by the government to control the spread of the pandemic, heavy crowds are seen at meat centres, wine shops, shandies and markets during the relaxed period, defeating the very purpose of the prohibitory orders. Earlier, the rush witnessed in markets is comparatively low as they used to operate morning to night. But with shops now confining from 6 am to 12 noon, the footfall has seen a drastic rise.

When it comes to wine shops, the demand for stocking of brands used to be there at the end of the day. However, with the shutters closing down after 12 noon, tipplers are thronging the wine shops as soon as they wake up.

Retail outlets, malls, hypermarkets and supermarkets are bursting at the seams as many are indulging in panic buying. "The other day, when I went to the market to bring home groceries, a woman literally snatched away the noodles packet I was about to lay my hands on. When I asked her, she did not even bother to respond but headed straight to the billing counter. It took me almost two hours to clear the bill as I have to pass two rows of the queue to get my turn to pay," says B Archana, who works in a private firm.

Along with the ATMs, banks are the other points where social distancing norms are going for a toss. People just barge into the banks to get their transaction done as the working hours have shrunk.

Those operating retail outlets, grocery stores and supermarkets witness a different buying pattern. "Bulk quantities are being bought by the consumers. Rice, wheat flour, pulses and daily essentials are flying off the shelves as soon as they get filled up. Earlier, the quantity of each item bought was confined to one or two maximum. Now, we are seeing a different trend altogether," shares G Kumar, who operates a grocery store.

Despite the officials cautioning people to refrain from panic buying, they continue to indulge in it. As a result, several stores are being crowded most of the time during the day.

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