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Fear triggers panic buying in Aizawl

By Correspondent

AIZAWL, March 10 - People in the Mizoram capital have been on a panic buying spree, disrupting the supply chains, as the coronavirus scare has gripped the State even as the Government appeals for calm.

Pharmacies here have been facing acute shortage of face masks and hand sanitisers since last week. Panic buyers have also stocked up essential commodities like rice, dal, potatoes, onions, etc. Till late last night, people were seen standing in queues in front of shops to buy grocery items, and fuel stations to buy petrol.

Panic buying has resulted due to rumours in the social media that all the international and inter-State borders will be sealed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting chaired by Chief Minister Zoramthanga late on Monday afternoon decided to seal the State�s borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, ban entry of foreigners, and restrict movement across the inter-State borders.

It was also decided that all inter-State borders, except the four entry points, will be closed and issue of inner line permits (ILPs) will be stopped. Vehicles carrying essential commodities will be thoroughly screened.

Entry points with Assam will be opened at Bairabi and Vairengte, with Manipur at Khawkawn and with Tripura at Kanhmun. These entry points will be closely monitored.

Following the panic, the Government today issued a statement appealing the public for calm.

�There is no reason to panic as no coronavirus case has been detected in the State. Rumours that there will be shortage of supplies are also false. There is adequate stock of rice, gas and other essential commodities,� Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said in a release. The statement added that there will be normal flow of supplies even if the inter-State borders are restricted for travellers.

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