Hyderabad: The spread of Covid-19 into the rural districts of Telangana has picked up but the state administration has refused to set up containment zones there to slow down the epidemic.
Over the past three weeks, the semi-urban Medchal-Malkajgiri district, adjacent to Hyderabad, has reported 2,832 new Covid-19 cases, Jayashankar-Bhupalpally district 346, Bhadradri-Kothagudem 1,629, Vikarabad 373 cases, and Yadadri-Bhongir 1,048 new Covid-19 cases.
Yet, the daily Covid-19 bulletins released by the Telangana Health Department, steadfastly maintain that none of these five districts requires any containment zones within which to cordon off the infection and prevent its spread to other areas.
Since August 22, there is no mention in the daily Covid-19 bulletin of any containment zone set up in Medchal-Malkajgiri, Yadadri-Bhongir, Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Jayashankar-Bhupalapally, and Vikarabad districts despite new cases being discovered daily in alarming numbers.
This is not the first time that the daily Covid-19 bulletin has mystified rather than clarified the reality on the ground. The Telangana High Court has pulled up the state government for the poor detail in the Covid-19 bulletin.
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) recommends that infected people should be prevented from moving about freely, and that all people living in containment zones must be tested for Covid-19. This makes the establishment of containment zones imperative for disease control.
Incidentally, over the past few months, after setting up containment zones by cordoning off neighborhoods during the initial phases of the lockdown, the state had been designating individual homes too as containment zones.
For instance, if a member of a family, or more than one, living in an apartment tests positive, only that apartment is considered a containment 'zone', though the rest of those living in the same building can officially be treated as being outside of the zone.