As the pandemic rages on relentlessly, citizens across the Vizag bitterly regretting the lack of concrete action to combat the rising second wave of COVID-19 cases, are calling for tight measures to be implemented in order to ensure people follow safety norms, such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.
While feeble enforcement of norms coupled with no restrictions in place, people are moving freely in the city without following Covid-19 Appropriate Behaviour like wearing masks or following physical distancing norms. Due to this, an alarming level of covid-19 cases is on an upward march for the past two weeks.
Witnessing the palpable trend of Covid 19 cases, social activist and former IAS Officer E.A.S. Sarma has written a letter to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy suggesting to make wearing masks in public places mandatory, and impose a fine of Rs. 2,000 on people found breaching the rule and ban the public gathering of more than 30 people. Another important aspect he suggested is the restrictions on inter-State movement, as neighbouring States too are witnessing spikes in infections.
“Tests like RT-PCR must be made mandatory for passengers coming to A.P. via airports, railways, inter-State bus services, and private vehicles. Ramping up of the public healthcare infrastructure by creating special COVID hospitals with adequate beds, ventilators, oxygen supply, and other ICU facilities. Also, containment zones should be revised urgently,” he stated.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, V.S. Krishna, Coordination Committee member of Human Rights Forum (HRF) of AP & TS said that the State government to put an effective stop on large religious congregations, big assemblies and gatherings and election rallies. He also underscored the need to initiate measures to ensure that unorganised migrant labourers do not undergo the suffering they were subjected to last summer. All the migrant labourers should be provided with all basic amenities and their economic well-being and safety suitably addressed and assured,” Mr Krishna said.
Echoing similar views, most of the senior citizens of Vizag said the state government officials should ensure COVID-19 safety norms are brought back in public transport. Packed buses and overcrowding of auto-rickshaws has been a common sight despite the increase in cases. As a measure of precaution, night curfew can be implemented to prevent public gatherings late at night. All this and more will raise raise awareness that the COVID-19 situation is not something to be taken lightly.
In addition to that views expressed by the older people, many houses wives opined that the government should also bring in some restrictions on shopping malls and multiplexes, where the distance between seats have already been done with. Strict enforcement of thermal scanners, hand sanitisers at malls, cinema theatres and public places should be monitored.