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Shillong: Shillong residents woke up to long queues in front of grocery and vegetable stores on Wednesday after the government announced a lockdown on May 18.

Following an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Meghalaya, the government decided to impose a total lockdown in the East Khasi Hills district, which recorded 574 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

EastMojo visited one of the busiest markets in Shillong—Laitumkhrah—which had on May 5 caught the district administration’s attention after people were crowding and violating the COVID-19 protocols.

Also read: Meghalaya’s manpower crisis; health workers test COVID-19 positive

Speaking with EastMojo, Rangbah Shnong (headman) of Laitumkhrah, Andrew Jyrwa, said people were cooperating.

“Rush is bound to happen. We are anticipating that in few hours, there will be a rush. We have enough volunteers put in place, and they are moving around and checking,” said Jyrwa. The traditional heads of Laitumkhrah had put in place odd and even system for shops to open.

Dhiman, a resident of Laitumkhrah, said that the lockdown was sudden. It resulted in panic buying. “There was massive rush which has created another problem. Though it was necessary given the current state of affairs, we don’t have ample healthcare in Shillong is another bitter truth,” said Dhiman.

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