The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has set up 12 containment clusters to help combat the further spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), said commissioner D.S. Lokesh Kumar on Wednesday.
The GHMC officials have set up containment clusters in Ramgopalpet, Shaikhpet, Red Hills, Malakpet (Santosh Nagar), Chandrayangutta, Alwal, Moosapet, Kukatpally, Qutubullapur (Gajularamaram), Mayurinagar, Yosufguda and Chandanagar, given that these areas reported a total of 89 Covid positive cases so far.
Special attention is being given to sanitation and spraying of disinfectant in these clusters, Mr Kumar said. Apart from this, a team consisting of health and GHMC officials are going to each and every household to identify those who are symptomatic and getting them tested.
“In these clusters, public movements is monitored and barricading has been done to keep check on public movement. Discussions have been held with Hyderabad city police commissioner Anjani Kumar,” he said, adding that barricading and bandobust will continue.
Out of 593 people who returned from Tabligi Jamaat’s Markaz event in Nizamuddin in New Delhi, 63 people have tested Covid positive, including 45 family members. Since they have all been identified and hospitalised, there is a good chance that corona cases will decrease, he hoped.
He said precautionary steps have been taken for safety of sanitation workers. Masks are being supplied to all workers through zonal commissioners, he claimed. Over 60,000 reusable cloth masks are getting ready stitched by SHG women, he said.
The GHMC commissioner, however, did not react to Deccan Chronicle reports published a few weeks earlier that the corporation had misused and diverted over `4 crore funds to acquire masks, gloves and other important precautionary items, leading to a requirement now to buy cloth masks. Instead, he said, “nearly 30,000 cloth masks are ready. Within four days, other 30,000 masks will get ready.”
“We have placed an order to supply a health kit, consisting of gloves, masks, soap, shoes and other required material to sanitation workers. These kits will be distributed among workers in a week,” he said.
Currently, nearly 27,000 GHMC sanitation workers are on the field without adequate health kits, which by Mr Kumar’s own admission, will be supplied with them, at the earliest, in a week.
From now on, wearing a mask, gloves, and health kit will be made mandatory, he said, without reflecting on why it was not done so far, weeks after the Covid epidemic has brought the entire country to a lockdown.
“For convenience of workers, 34 buses are being arranged. To maintain social distancing, a volunteer will be appointed to manage crowd in each bus,” he said.
Mr Kumar informed that around 4,500 to 4,800 metric tonnes of garbage is being collected and sent to dumpyards. He said due to lockdown, the GHMC is trying to feed homeless and poor with Annapurna meals. “Around 55,000 people eat meals each afternoon. Around 35,000 people are being provided with two meals per day,” he said.
However, the GHMC chief did not choose to speak on why the Corporation had recently first decided to ban private philanthropists providing meals for poor, needy and migrant workers. The GHMC, under orders from municipal administration and urban development bosses, had banned these people, leading to huge public uproar, putting at risk lives of thousands of people.
After beating a hasty retreat over its mistaken adventure, the GHMC, through an order from additional commissioner on April 4, again “granted permission” to private charities to feed the poor, but were made to “give credit” to GHMC under the lockdown duress.
On his part, the GHMC chief, conceded that around 17,000 food packets are being distributed by private individuals in 10 mobile vans, adding, “but are being monitored” by a special wing set up in the GHMC.
Lokesh Kumar further said that they have issued passes to 145 donors to distribute food in 400 locations across the city.
A junior official in GHMC, on condition of anonymity, said, “we are barely able to do a good job of feeding people with subsidised food in normal times through Annapoorna canteens. To take on the job of feeding thousands of people during lockdown was a mistake. To save face, after realising our order banning people from directly feeding the needy could have led to starvation cases, we have now gone back to letting them do it.”
A volunteer, working on feeding nearly 50,000 people each day since the lockdown began, said, “The GHMC tried its best to stop our volunteers. They wanted to put GHMC stamps on our food packets. They violated even privacy norms and made calls to volunteers for two days, including women, not to come out of house and feed people. Now, they are claiming our work as if it is being done by the GHMC. Guess while it is Coronavirus year for humanity, it is election year for these officials.”...