Andhra Pradesh

Sri City grapples with sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases

A factory worker undergoing thermal screening at the entrance of the Sri City industrial zone, in Chittoor district on Thursday.

A factory worker undergoing thermal screening at the entrance of the Sri City industrial zone, in Chittoor district on Thursday.  

The medical, revenue and police departments in Chittoor district were put on high alert after 33 persons — all workers of a pharma company at Sri City — tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

All the persons hail from Pedda Eetipakam hamlet and Cherivi village near Sri City.

The Chittoor district police issued a public alert, cautioning villagers of the eastern mandals of KVB Puram, Pichatur, Nagalapuram, Varadaiahpalem, Satyavedu, Puttur and Nagari, to inform area officials if they have information about the contacts and relatives of the workers who tested positive.

Sri City industrial zone has around 150 companies, most of them units established by premier industrial entities. According to Sri City officials, over 50,000 workers are directly or indirectly employed in these units. The workers are spread over the eastern mandals of Chittoor district, border villages inside Tamil Nadu, Sullurpeta, Naidupeta and Tada mandals of Nellore district. A large number of vehicles criss-cross the villages in the tri-State junction to pick up the workers from their home and drop them back after work.

After the COVID-19 lockdown, all workers coming from Tamil Nadu were strictly barred from attending work in all the factories of Sri City. Workers from the southern mandals of Nellore and eastern mandals of Chittoor were subjected to rigorous formalities, including thermal screening, hand gloves, face masks and sanitisation, before being allowed to board company buses and entering the Sri City zone.

Public Relations Officer (Sri City) Ravindranath Chivukula told The Hindu that it was surprising as to how the workers of Sri City zone tested positive for COVID-19, despite foolproof measures in place. “Sri City has been taking all precautions to combat COVID-19 in the industrial belt. All the companies have put in place infallible measures to ensure that workers follow the COVID-19 guidelines in full,” he said.

Since the lockdown had commenced, the number of workers attending the work schedules has come down to below 40%. “The workers from the mandals of Nellore and Chittoor district, who reside in red zones and containment areas, are also being barred from coming to work. We are thoroughly monitoring the entry of workers from the prohibited zones in coordination with the district officials of the concerned areas,” Mr Ravindranath said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 2:27:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/sri-city-grapples-with-sudden-spurt-in-covid-19-cases/article31917983.ece

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