Covid-19 on a rampage across rural Andhra Pradesh

Deccan Chronicle.  | KMP Patnaik

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80% of cases now being reported from rural, semi-rural, agency areas

A health worker gears up to collect swab from patients in AP.

VISAKHAPATNAM: While coronavirus cases have come down in urban and city areas of north coastal Andhra, the virus is spreading into rural and agency areas, according to health officials.

A senior officer disclosed that 80 per cent of cases now being reported are from rural, semi-rural and agency areas. Citing an instance in Visakhapatnam district, the official said Narsipatnam revenue division has registered 15 per cent positive cases when the district average is less than eight per cent. Rolugunta, Natavaram and Narsipatnam are reporting more cases when compared to urban areas.

Srikakulam, Meliaputti, Patapatnam and Nandigam mandals have reported more Covid-19 cases compared to urban towns like Srikakulam, Rajam and Palasa. Srikakulam registered 168 cases on Sunday and most of them are from these three mandals. The total coronavirus positive cases are 42,901. Of them, 1,505 are active cases.

In Vizianagaram district, however, cases have come down to double digits both in urban and rural areas. Health officials regret that people are not following coronavirus guidelines in rural areas. This is despite government giving three masks free to every individual per month.

They hardly use sanitisers and are not very particular about washing hands with soap. Officials say even government establishments like banks and insurance offices are not insisting on people to follow coronavirus guidelines.

“They have enough security personnel to insist on these aspects, but they are unable to handle customers,” said a senior official. Positive cases in Visakhapatnam have crossed 55,000 of which 2,119 are active. An official said only 717 patients are undergoing treatment in hospitals, while 1,190 of them are in home isolation and 284 in Covid care centres.