The second day of the 21-day lockdown in Kabul saw tougher enforcement by police as they closed some main roads to commuters and locked shops and other public places in the city.
But this created traffic congestion and panic among the residents, especially among vendors who mostly are the only breadwinners of their families. Based on the lockdown rules, non-essential movements are banned, such as shops, except grocery stores and pharmacies. Public places must remain closed.
Some vendors said they were not warned previously and that they faced a sudden move by the police on Sunday who "threw out their goods and carts."
“If they were serious, they should have first closed Herat and Nimroz routes as passengers are coming from there,” said Nasir Ahmad, a Kabul resident.
Kabul, which was initially designed for up to 500,000 population, now hosts up to six million people.
“It is a must for me to come out of my home in the city to win bread for my family,” said Zabihullah, a vendor who was asked by police to stop his small business.
“There are two presidents. How will they pay attention to the people and if the people are fed?” asked Shafiullah, a Kabul resident.
“Come and help the poor,” said Saif-Ur-Rahman, a Kabul resident.
Another vendor, Sayed Ahmad Shah Amani, said police used force to stop vendors. “Police are throwing our goods and carts,” he said.
Acting Minister of Interior Affairs, Gen. Massoud Andarabi, said at least 1,500 police force members have been deployed to prevent people from roaming in the city.
“Stay at home. Become police yourself,” Andarabi said. “We implemented lockdown rules on shops.”