All businesses and offices except hospitals, pharmacies, groceries, and dairies across Noida and Greater Noida have been ordered to stay completely shut on Sunday following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a 'Janata curfew', officials said.
District Magistrate B N Singh issued the order which stated that all restaurants, including those within residential campuses, cafes, food joints, beauty parlours, salons, industries, commercial firms and offices will remain shut from 7 am to 9 pm.
"The order exempts essential services like hospitals, pharmacies, groceries, dairies, etc. Violation of the order will invite legal action against the offender," Singh said.
Shopping malls, schools, colleges, gyms, cinema halls, multiplexes, community centres and banquet halls have already been closed till April 2, even as Noida police has invoked Section 144 of the CrPC to ban any mass gathering, except those very essential, according to officials.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) has already announced suspension of the Aqua Line metro and its city bus services for Sunday.
The Sector 18 market the biggest in Noida with around a thousand shops and retail outlets and over a hundred restaurants will also remain closed till March 31 in a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"All shops and restaurants will remain closed till March 31 except for essential services like groceries and pharmacies. We have also asked all shop owners to ensure adequate protect gears for their security guards and registering their contact details with the police," Sector 18 Market Association president Sushil Kumar Jain said.
Meanwhile, people on Saturday thronged the shops to stock up on essential supplies even as panic-buying was reported at some places about groceries, pharmacies and vegetables in the city, despite appeals by PM Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath against doing so.
"People could be seen buying packets of cereals, packed food items, oil and snacks since yesterday. At many shops, long queues were seen in and around my sector," D K Bhatt, a resident of Sector 110, said.
Videos of residents of some societies appeared in which they were seen on their balconies clapping, clanging utensils and sounding whistles while even 'shankh' (conch shell) sounds could also be heard around 5 pm something the prime minister had called for to be done on Sunday to mark the nation's collective gratitude towards people working in essential services amid the outbreak.
On Saturday, one more coronavirus positive case was reported in Noida, taking the total number of identified COVID-19 cases to five here, according to officials.