A visit to the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam on Sunday would have given a hint on why the State has leapfrogged to the second position in the country in the number of coronavirus infections.
The 4-km Beach Road was a choc-a-block, with the attendance of an estimated one lakh people on the weekend. And the district health officials told The Hindu on Monday that going by a conservative estimate, at least a 1,000 would have been the carriers of the virus, who would have infected thousands.
The State on Sunday surpassed Tamil Nadu to take the number two spot after Maharashtra in COVID-19 infections and it happened in just 60 days.
On June 1, infection count in State were 3,679, when the same in Maharasthra was 70,013, followed by Tamil Nadu (23,495), Delhi (20,834) and Gujarat (17,217). On July 1, the tally in A.P. was 14,595 when compared to Maharashtra (1,74,716), Tamil Nadu (90,169) and Delhi (85,161).
However, in the last two months, the State, with 4,24,767 cases, have broken all records, leaving behind Tamil Nadu (4,22, 085)to take the number two spot after Maharashtra (7,80,689).
Since June first week, the lockdown norms have been relaxed in phases, with the Centre giving certain guidelines to the States and empowering them to take necessary decisions as circumstances demand.
But, emphasis have been laid by the State and the Centre that checking the virus is also the responsibility of people.
“Some restraints and adherence to norms are the needs of the hour. We have seen how there was a spike in cases after people thronged markets during the Sharavan Shukravaram. Now, we see people thronging the beaches on weekends not giving two hoots to the norms,” says a senior doctor.
“The slew of measures launched to educate people on the virus and on the precautions appear to be failing in solving the purpose. We are heading towards the worst and the load on the health infrastructure is all time high. People must understand the gravity of the situation,” says District COVID Special Officer P.V. Sudhakar.
Meanwhile, a few doctors questioned the government policies. Many States such as Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and even West Bengal have come up with partial lockdown measures. But, we are yet to see such measures in the State. After the Unlock 2.0, we opened up almost everything ,” says a senior doctor.
Onus on policing
Many doctors are of the opinion that strict policing is the need of the hour. It is time that the administrations imposed some restrictions, they say. However, a senior police officer says that nothing can be done, unless an order is received from the higher-ups.