Visakhapatnam

As campaign picks up, people fear increase in COVID cases

TDP supporters dancing during a campaign for municipal elections in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.  

With the municipal election campaign picking up momentum, people in the city fear increase in number of COVID-19 cases. A large number of public meetings and rallies are being organised as part of the election campaign in which safety norms are totally ignored.

“We were confined to our houses for almost two months, when the pandemic was at its peak last year. Smell of sanitisers and bleaching powder emanated from our colonies. Over 100 people were affected due to the virus and more than 10 persons died. We hope those dreadful days didn’t recur. But the news of second COVID wave is frightening us,” said K. Sagar, a resident of Kobbarithota, which was a hotspot last year.

The cases were at the peak stage during July, August and September 2020. In mid week of September, the district had 717 clusters, including over 100 very active and active clusters. Fortunately, cases started to decline from the end of September and since the second week of November 2020, the COVID-19 single day tally has never crossed 100 in the city. During January and February, it further dropped to a single digit.

A few areas, which have been witnessing vigorous election campaign, were earlier containment zones. After a few States like Maharashtra started to witness the second wave, a few locals, especially those from containment zones, are in a panic mode.

For the last 10 days, Peda Jalaripeta, Appughar and a few areas in One Town have been witnessing election campaigning almost every day. Party activists are conducting door-to-door canvassing, organising rallies, roadshows and public meetings with entertainment programmes.

“Yes we do fear a second wave, but these cannot be avoided. None of the locals here follow safety norms. Many are not taking COVID-19 seriously since the recovery rate is high,” said Sudhakar (name changed), a shopkeeper from MVP Circle. The administration should reimpose some restrictions or at least start alerting people in all areas, especially those, which were affected earlier, he said.

Some people demand that the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials impose fines on those not wearing masks.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 3:00:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/as-campaign-picks-up-people-fear-increase-in-covid-cases/article34009438.ece

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