At a time when the Covid-19 positive cases coming down in Vizag, some people who have tested positive for Covid or are direct contacts of Covid patients are flouting quarantine or isolation rules and some are even stepping out without masks, residents across the city said. During the first wave of the Covid-19 last year, the city witnessed the other extreme as neighbours tagged and barricaded the homes of Covid patients.
According to public health experts, the sheer number of infected people this time has made it difficult for the authorities and others to identify those who are testing positive. At a time when tens of people testing positive in every neighbourhood every day, even residents are at times unaware who among them are suffering from Covid or have come in close contact with patients.
With prevailing irresponsible behaviour of some Covid patients and their close contacts, who are stepping out in violation of quarantine rules, at times without masks, is putting the lives of others at risk. Many doctors said the coronavirus mutants in circulation in the country are more transmissible than the original virus.
Maheswara Rao, a resident of MVP Colony said he had seen the father of a man who had tested positive for Covid-19 step out of their home every now and then to buy vegetables and groceries. And very often spotted without a mask. The result is, a grocer who the man used to visit later came to know from the domestic help of the family that the father had tested positive, too.
Sharing a similar experience, Chinnam Naidu of Akkyyapalem, said a neighbour and his entire family have tested positive. A day before yesterday, I saw the man outside his home without a mask. The neighbours called him up and asked him to stay indoors. Even we assured him that we will deliver whatever the family needs at their doorstep,” Chinnam Naidu added.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, an eminent public health expert said “As a matter of fact, this is unfortunate and we should not expect the government to do everything on our behalf. As responsible citizens of society, we have some responsibilities in containing the pandemic. In some of the Southeast nations, citizens managed the pandemic so well because their citizens have acted very responsibly,”
As per the Covid norms laid down by the government, a covid patient with mild symptoms have to stay in isolation for 17 days from the onset of symptoms. And his or her close contacts have to stay quarantined for 14 days. At no point of time, Covid-19 infected persons should not step out. Surely, their contacts should undergo a test on day 5 or day 6 from exposure. Going the spike in covid cases, the current strain of the virus is highly transmissible. Of course, there are multiple examples where all other family members tested positive within a week of the first person in the family testing positive,” said the public health specialist.
“If the primary contacts have any symptoms, they should get tested immediately. Even if they do not found any symptoms, it is advisable to get tested on the 5th or 6th day from exposure. Make sure, the moment someone in the family shows Covid symptoms, the person should isolate himself or herself to reduce the risks of infecting others in the family.”