Prices of almost all types of vegetables had increased over the last two to three days
Residents of Dhaka city have been flocking to bazaars and pharmacies to stockpile essential items in large quantities, panicking over a looming lockdown.
On a visit to markets, this correspondent found that despite the rise in prices, people were purchasing more out of fear, only to stock the items at home.
People began to purchase much more than necessary, as speculations were rife that the government might impose another spell of lockdown to prevent a mass spread of coronavirus at community levels.
Some shoppers at Rampura Kitchen Market told Dhaka Tribune that prices of almost all types of vegetables had increased over the last two to three days.
Prices of okras were around Tk70/kg where they had been just Tk40-50 two days earlier, said a seller. Besides, prices of eggplants, cucumbers and other raw vegetables have gone up. The price of each raw vegetable has increased by Tk 20-30 in two days.
The seller said prices might further increase if the government formally announced a lockdown in the city.
Sellers said that prices of fish, chicken and eggs had also gone up as people were buying more to stock up.
People have also started to gather in pharmacies to stockpile on medicines such as Napa, Montela, Ivera and Zinc.
Since doctors have been prescribing these medicines for Covid-19 patients, their sales shot up.
Omar Faruque, owner of a grocery store in Rampura Bazar, said: “After hearing the news of a fourteen-day lockdown in Rampura areas, people crowded in my store and purchased various products.”
Mamunur Rashid, owner of a drugs store in Rampura, said: “Most medicines similar to Montil, Napa, Ceevit, Omeprazole and Antacid are being stocked by the general public after receiving the news of a further lockdown. As a result, there’s a crisis in the medicine market.”
Muhammad Ullah, an advocate of the Supreme Court and resident of Rampura, told Dhaka Tribune that prices of daily necessities, such as vegetables, rice, fish, meat, etc, had been rising by the day. “It’s very difficult for the lower middle class and lower classes to lead a normal life.”
If the government imposed a partial lockdown, it would be difficult to execute such lockdowns properly. So, partial lockdowns wouldn’t be effective, he added.
Ziaul Islam, who works in a private company, was also buying vegetables and fish in large quantities.
Asked why he had bought so much, he told Dhaka Tribune that he was a resident of East Rampura and his area fell under the red zone category. And, due to that, he shopped more for his household.