India : gold rush on the markets in Patna before the containment

Inde : ruée sur les marchés à Patna avant le confinement

Thousands of people have made a mockery of the social distancing when they are racing Wednesday in the markets of Patna, the capital of the indian State of Bihar, in which 125 million people will be pushed again at midnight in the containment to cope with the coronavirus.

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Under this measure, applicable for 15 days, only the stores selling products of first necessity will remain open and only the agricultural activities and in the CONSTRUCTION industry will continue, as public transport will be halted, and the schools or the religious institutions should keep their doors closed.

But private vehicles will be allowed to continue to circulate in this region of the north-east of 125 million inhabitants among the poorest of India.

And this in contrast to what happens in the big city south of Bangalore, a hub for major technology, and its surroundings, became an epicentre of the pandemic, and where the streets were deserted Wednesday after the entry into force for seven days from the evening of the containment.

In this vast country of 1.3 billion souls, the rapid increase in the number of cases of COVID-19, which is now approaching one million, with more than 500 deaths per day, grows a number of cities and territories to put in place measures that are very restrictive, so that, after having imposed a containment brutal at the national level at the end of march, New Delhi was lifted in early June.

“The mercy of God ! “

On a market of Patna, Radhika Singh, a woman of forty years, was one of the few people selling its products -particularly rice and lentils to wear a protective mask.

“I’ve never in my life been confronted with such a situation in the past, it is an experience really horrible “, she told AFP.

With the lack of equipment to protect themselves, and the contempt shown for the rules of social distancing, some are not afraid to express their anger to the recovery of the containment.

“People do not care about themselves “, explains to the AFP Syed Amin Iqbal, a bank employee in retirement.

“They are left to the mercy of God,” he adds, saying that the indian government is not able to control the epidemic and does not take much care of the poor, who have been most affected by it.

On Wednesday, the immediate priority of the population in Patna was to make reservations.

Neelam Devi, who is part of a poor community, has been able to procure a bag of 59 kilograms of rice and 15 pounds of flour on a market.

“During the previous confinement, we ran out of rice and flour because you failed to buy it before its implementation. This time, we decided not to repeat this mistake.”

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