Vijayawada

An acid test in narrow streets

Things initially appeared to go out of control after the government loosened the leash by announcing partial relaxation under Lockdown 4.0. The number of vehicles on the roads increased, forcing the traffic police to switch on the signal lights at junctions after more than two months. The social distancing norms are in for an acid test, especially in the narrow streets that the old town of Tirupati is known for.

As social distancing and the etiquette of wearing a mask in public are yet to become a full-fledged practice, it is important to carefully nurture the habit among the public, especially the semi-literate and underprivileged sections, who are mostly unaware of the ways in which the virus spreads. With the leaders in the corridors of power stressing the need for coexistence with coronavirus, it is all the more important for policy-makers, bureaucrats and social activists to let the concept of physical distance sink in.

"Our buses have been equipped with sanitisers and every passenger will be made to clean his hands. Similarly, the bus will be thoroughly cleaned with sodium hypochlorite solution after every trip," says APSRTC Tirupati Regional Manager Thimmadi Chengal Reddy. The corporation has distributed 12,250 masks to its workers, apart from placing sanitisers at its depots and offices.

Railway reservation

The South Central Railway has also announced opening of its reservation counters in 73 stations from May 22, but in view of physical distancing, also extends the facility through ticketing agents, post offices and Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) licensees. Of the 73 Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters to be opened in the SCR purview, 44 stations are in Andhra Pradesh. The railway management insists that the staff as well as the passengers follow social distancing, use of masks and sanitisers while at the station and on trains.

New norms for clinics

Hospitals are feared to become another breeding point for viruses in case of laxity, with the likely arrival of patients in droves following lockdown relaxation. "Out-patient screening should be shifted from air-conditioned rooms to open places and a new triage area has to be created to look for suspects," says Association of Physicians of India (API)’s State vice-president Penna Krishna Prasanthi. Predicting a paradigm shift in the manner patients are diagnosed in future, Dr. Prasanthi also sought supply of PPEs of standard quality by the government for private practitioners.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 2:15:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/an-acid-test-in-narrow-streets/article31660245.ece

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