Spitting in the open, dip in a ponds, standing in line for liquor without mask, taking the car out from the garage and buying a packet of cigarettes were some of the reasons why people flouted Covid curbs in a containment zones of Visakhapatnam. Hello Vizag spent a whole day at containment zones to see many people flouting the curbs. Guard rails had been placed at the entrance to two lanes. But people entered and left the area through unguarded lanes and alleys at will. No amount of enforcement will be enough if people do not take the virus threat seriously, policemen and civic volunteers posted at the containment zone said.
Most of the cases are coming from where people live in congested areas and in close proximity. In Visakhapatnam, the first major outbreak was in the Dandu Bazaar cluster, followed by Appughar, Jalaripeta. “In Dandu Bazaar, over 60 cases were reported within a span of 15 days. From Appughar and Jalaripeta combined, close to 300 cases have been reported so far. “The areas are thickly populated, and localities congested with houses and narrow bylanes where people live cheek and jowl. Most importantly, they do not abide by the basic protocols of wearing masks or social distancing” said teacher of Timpany School.
Cops camping outside the containment zones when Hello Vizag reached around noon. A man on a bike was leaving the area with two women on the pillion without wearing the mask and helmet. “On being asked, why, pat came the reply—we are in hurry, do what you can said before leaving. Youngsters of Appughar came outside the containment zone for playing cards in the afternoon and walked back inside, making their way past the guard rails. Also, aged residents coming out with lame excuses and pleading helplessness. Two youths on a cycle entered one of the barricaded lanes and spitting openly. Realising they were being pictured, they tried to turn back. Asked why they had entered the sealed area, one of them answered: “We were in a rush. What is the big deal? We came out, right?”
Three days back when it was raining and the cops were inside the erected tents at Jalaripeta, some were seen with enjoying with drinking and smoking at their peak. Seeing me, guys asked me to go back. In between one cop shouted and they dispersed. A middle-aged man entered a two-storey apartment in the Dandu Bazaar containment zone, less than 30meters from the police barricade. The man with an umbrella entered through one of the several unguarded alleys. “I keep my car in a garage on the ground floor. My house is outside the containment zone,” he said when asked why he had entered a sealed area. Another middle-aged man stepped out of a house in the containment zone and walked towards the same direction that the car owner had come from. “I will just go to a shop and get a packet of cigarettes. I am wearing mask and gloves,” he said. When approached to the police for the above violations, a senior police official said “Strict curbs and vigil will not be of any help unless people realise the importance of staying at home,”
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