Andhra Pradesh

No respite from COVID-19 in Chittoor

District reports nine new cases on Thursday; steep rise witnessed in past one week

Chittoor district registered nine new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 151.

Eight of the nine new cases have links to the Koyambedu market in Tamil Nadu, officials said. The fresh cases emerged from Nagalapuram, Srikalahasti, Pichatur, Satyavedu, Tavanampalle and V. Kota. Within a span of one week, the district saw close to 60 cases being reported, with all of them having a travel history to the Koyambedu market in the neighbouring State.

Seeing that there is no respite in the Koyambedu-linked cases, Deputy Chief Minister K. Narayanaswamy and District Collector Narayana Bharat Gupta took part in an emergency meeting at the Collectorate here on Thursday. Mr. Narayanaswamy, who is also the Excise Minister, was informed that in border areas, large groups of men from Tamil Nadu are crossing the border into Chittoor to purchase liquor, raising the risk of a large-scale spread of the virus.

The Deputy Chief Minister asked the district administration to intensify vigil at the border checkposts at NR Peta, Cheekalabailu and Palamaner to prevent unauthorised travel across the border. He observed that officials should consider closing wine shops in border areas if the arrivals from Tamil Nadu continue unabated despite police surveillance.

Mr. Narayanaswamy reviewed the conditions that led to a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the district in a short span of one week. The task force personnel brought to the notice of the Minister that except for the cases with a Koyambedu link identified by them, not many persons affected by the virus are coming voluntarily for testing, thus complicating the problem.

Cracking down on liquor

Meanwhile, Mr. Narayanaswamy told The Hindu that special parties with the police and excise staff were actively destroying the ID liquor making dens all over the State. “Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is committed to drastically reducing the number of wine shops as part of a move towards complete prohibition. After increasing the liquor prices and reducing the number of shops, there is a phenomenal decrease in consumption of liquor in the State,” he said.

Collector Narayana Bharat Gupta instructed the official machinery, particularly in the municipalities and corporations, to strictly monitor the scheduled business hours of the commercial establishments and public movement, besides enforcement of social distancing and sanitization etiquette.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 2:26:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/no-respite-from-covid-19-in-chittoor/article31586449.ece

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