Panic grips Malkajgiri after barber tests positive for covid19

Deccan Chronicle.  | Maddy Deekhsith

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20 medical teams had conducted a fever survey of residents living in a one-kilometre radius of the shop

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Hyderabad: Days after barber shops were reopened in the city, the first case of a barber testing positive for covid-19 has emerged in the city.

The 48-year-old who owns the salon at Hanumanpet, Mallikarjunanagar, in Malkajgiri, and has two employees, opened a week ago. He had a fever and cough when he started work, but it was on Saturday morning that he suspected these could be Covid-19 symptoms and went for a check-up at a private hospital.

The hospital referred him to Fever Hospital in Nallakunta, where his samples were collected and sent for testing. On Sunday afternoon, the test came back positive.

The result was not intimated to the health department but the details were uploaded on the website by the Fever Hospital. Upon checking the data, the health department barricaded his house on Sunday at around 4.30 pm. The barricade was removed at 12.30 pm on Monday. The patient is undergoing treatment at Nature Cure hospital in Begumpet.

Tracing of persons who came in contact with the barber began and nine primary and secondary contacts, including his 40-year-old wife and 23-year-old son and his two employees and a five-year-old.

The barber has not revealed the names of his customers, though over 50 persons had a haircut or shave in the shop since he returned to work.

C Vijay Kumar, a resident of Malkajgiri, said that the removal of the barricade has created panic among residents. Even the medical camp at the spot has been shifted in less than 24 hours. "I spoke to the GHMC official in Malkajgiri about the removal of the medical camp and barricade but he says he cannot do anything about it and it is the people’s responsibility to take care of themselves,” Mr Kumar said.

When Deccan Chronicle asked health officials to comment, they said 20 medical teams had conducted a fever survey of residents living in a one-kilometre radius of the shop. After collecting the health details and phone numbers of the residents, the medical camp and barricade were removed.

However, some residents in the one-kilometre radius said that no medical staff had visited their homes and collected any data.

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