Andhra Pradesh

Containment zones fail to work as cases shoot up

People living in the containment zone of Obuldevnagar freely moving around without adhering to COVID-19 protocols, in Anantapur on Thursday.

People living in the containment zone of Obuldevnagar freely moving around without adhering to COVID-19 protocols, in Anantapur on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

Shoddy implementation of containment zones in Anantapur has led to a spurt in coronavirus cases in the city, say locals.

The size of each zone is very small, at a radius of less than 200 metres, and there are many such zones all across the city as the government, in a bid to avoid overcrowding of hospitals and COVID Care Centres, is encouraging home isolation for those who test positive for the virus but exhibit only mild symptoms.

Over 25% of those who tested positive for coronavirus in the city have opted for home isolation.

This strategy, however, has worked like a double-edged sword due to a stigma surrounding the virus. Officials are deluged by phone calls from neighbours of COVID-19 patients, urging that the patients be shifted to institutional quarantine. Patients, however, are preferring to stay home as four of the COVID Care Centres at S.K. University and surrounding places have poor facilities and hygiene.

A fresh lockdown in the district for the past five days seems to have had little impact, as people are seen moving around in their vehicles throughout the day. Police are struggling to regulate both traffic flow and keep an eye on containment zones, which have mushroomed across the city.

Only shopkeepers have faced the brunt of the fresh lockdown, as they have to down their shutters by 11 a.m.

The government has stopped its practice of delivering essentials to the doorstep of families living in containment zones, resulting in people stepping out of their homes at will. A case in point is Obuldevnagar colony where two of the lanes are in a containment zone, but more than seven families living here have left their homes and travelled to their relatives’ places or native villages. Life is normal with many residents sitting outside on the streets without wearing masks as residents walk in and out of the containment zone for buying essentials.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:57:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/containment-zones-fail-to-work-as-cases-shoot-up/article31918025.ece

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