Hyderabad: Have the lockdown relaxations done any good to Hyderabad? Well, reckon with this: since the central and Telangana governments eased the lockdown, the city has recorded 620 Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths in a span of 14 days.
And coronavirus cases, which were earlier restricted to Charminar, Karwan, Malakpet and LB Nagar, have now spread to Secunderabad and Khairatabad.
However, unlike other states, the spread to new areas and the eruption of new cases is not due to infection transmission by those who returned from abroad and are in paid quarantine, or by guest workers who have returned to state or are transiting through Telangana.
According to officials monitoring the Covid-19 situation in the city, the disease is being locally transmitted due to crowding at liquor shops, wholesale outlets, hospitals, weekly markets, banks and private organisations.
Take Musheerabad for instance. Until last week, the locality, which straddles Hyderabad and Secunderabad, was Covid-19 free. But over 15 cases have been reported there in two days.
And in the Secunderabad zone, officials have had to notify over 25 containment areas including house-level clusters there.
One official told Deccan Chronicle: “So we are just following the standard operating procedure (SOP), without notifying the cases to the higher authorities who asked us to just follow the guidelines without irking them often.”
So Deccan Chronicle asked senior officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and asked them the question: Do you know how many containment areas or house clusters there are?
One senior official at the GHMC HQ said he did not. The numbers fluctuate daily.
“What I remember is that we had 165 containment zones two or three weeks ago. We have no clue after that. We have not been keeping count. The local teams have been asked to follow the SOPs,” the official said.
Further, he said that the corporation could not officially give out the compiled data because there were instructions from the higher authorities not to do so. “We see Covid-19 being transmitted to other parts of the city but we do not understand how to curtail the transmission due to the relaxations,” he added.