Many still ignorant about dreaded COVID-19

Several garbage collectors, grocery shop workers, vegetable vendors and milk delivery persons, not taking proper precaution

Proper awareness about the spread of the dreaded coronavirus appears to be still eluding some sections of the society, particularly those linked to essential services, in spite of the constant rise in the number of positive cases.

Only a few garbage collectors, grocery shops, vegetable vendors and milk delivery persons in some residential areas in Kukatpally and Lingampally areas, were found wearing masks, clearly displaying the ignorance among them.

Delivery of newspapers, however, has been stopped in all the half-a-dozen localities, where enquiries have been made.

“Many customers are coming to my shop wearing masks and we are maintaining a safe distance while handing over groceries and taking cash,” Bajranglal, a street-corner grocery shop owner from HMT Hills, said. However, his ignorance was clearly evident as he himself did not wear any mask.

Also, pharmacists in several medical shops visited by this correspondent on Thursday were seen wearing masks and maintaining safe distance with customers while giving medicines and dealing with cash.

“We are among the essential services and we have no problem in delivering milk to our regular customers,” Mohd. Sadiq, a milk vendor in Shamshiguda and Shatavahana Nagar, said, adding that his delivery boys were local residents and their work is a part-time employment for them.

He, however, stated that in some apartments, residents had restricted the entry of delivery boys to their door step and milk packets were being left with watchmen to be collected later.

Residents in some localities have also asked their maids to stop coming to work at least till the next 2-3 weeks with the fear of virus spread from unknown sources. “We have managed to go back to our village near Shankarampet in Medak district since my husband, who works as a plumber here, has no job now and one of the two families where I work as maid has asked me to stop coming to work,” Savitriamma, a maid, said.

Even before newspaper vendors stopped lifting newspapers for distribution, several gated communities and apartments had asked them to stop supply for at least a month with the whatsapp abuzz with unverified messages stating that coronavirus spreads through newspapers as it changes several hands till reaching the reader. “We have stopped lifting newspapers as many subscribers have a suspicion that the virus spreads through newspapers,” Suresh, a hawker in the HMT Hills area, explained.

However, stopping newspaper delivery has not affected anybody as such as most delivery boys take up the work as a part-time job to supplement their other earnings, Mahesh, another hawker, said.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:19:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/many-still-ignorant-about-dreaded-covid-19/article31176392.ece

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