Visakhapatnam

It’s time for some enforcement to check virus spread, say experts

Visitors enjoying on the beach with their families in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

Visitors enjoying on the beach with their families in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

The COIVD-19 positivity rate in the district, especially in the urban areas, has touched 37% and the cases are piling up in hundreds. Keeping this in mind, the experts from the medical field say that it is time for some serious enforcement to break the chain of spread of the pandemic.

In the last four days, the district has recorded close to 3,500 cases and as per the officials, every third person is testing positive at the testing labs, which is considered to be on the higher side when it comes to tracking and understanding the trajectory of any pandemic.

The experts anticipate a huge spike after the Sankranti festival and feel that some kind of enforcement should have been in place already.

Expressing surprise at the rush and public gathering at RK Beach in the last three festival days, senior doctors from King George Hospital and Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences, say that the beaches should have been closed by the authorities concerned to avoid the huge public gathering. At least it should have been regulated, they opine. It is estimated that over one lakh people per day have been to RK Beach in the last two days, as per an official from the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA). It is surprising to see people thronging the beaches, especially the locals, who would have visited RK Beach or Rushikonda Beach several times in the past, despite fully knowing that the third wave is on and this time the transmission rate is very high. People should behave a little responsibly and it is time for the authorities to step in, says former principal of Andhra Medical College P.V. Sudhakar.

The doctors at the main COVID hospitals, KGH and VIMS, feel that the Pongal shopping should also have been regulated. The malls were full and people were seen flouting the COVID-19 protocols, says Vijay Sekhar from KGH.

“We are fortunate that though the cases are on the rise very rapidly, the severity is less and till date the pressure is not that high on the hospitals, unlike in the first and second wave. But things can change, as still people with comorbidities and underlying diseases are susceptible to severity,” remarks VIMS Director K. Rambabu.

Apartment associations and welfare associations should step in by supporting the affected persons and families. It has been seen that due to lack of support, an affected person in an affected family is forced to go out to buy essentials and in the process he or she may spread the virus, said Dr. Rambabu.

Though the experts do not vouch for a lockdown, they feel that at least public places and public gathering needs to be regulated.

Lockdown is not a viable solution, but regulating the public gathering or movement can pay dividends. And this is where the authorities concerned, including the law enforcing agencies, can pay a big role, said a senior doctor.

And the enforcement or regulation should be during the business hours, night curfew has no effect in a city like Visakhapatnam. No one visits the beach or a shopping mall after 10 p.m., so what is the use of a clampdown in the night, when you are leaving the beach open in the morning and evening, when people throng them, he added.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 3:11:19 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/its-time-for-some-enforcement-to-check-virus-spread-say-experts/article38279876.ece