Following reports that people were taking social distancing lightly and still defying lockdown unnecessarily, the government asked superintendents of police and city police commissioners to launch a crackdown. The government is of the view that if the trend continues, it could spoil the yields gained so far.
As a result, the police have decided to not allow even government staff to move on the streets after 10 am from Friday. In a few districts, special passes were issued to government employees. No one, including health wing official, will be allowed to move in areas other than the one assigned to them.
“All government employees on Covid-19 duties have been directed to reach their respective offices before 10 am and leave the offices after 5 pm. No personal vehicle, including those belonging to employees, should be allowed on to the streets between 10 am-5 pm,” as per the directions issued to district collectors.
However, official vehicles carrying staff and senior officers would be allowed to visit the containment zones. The period alloted for shopping of essential goods has been reduced in many districts, including Krishna and Guntur. People are allowed to visit the markets only between 6 am-9 am.
Special chief secretary (health) Dr KS Jawahar Reddy took stock of the situation with senior officers, including the special officers, district collectors and SPs through a video conference on Friday and asked them to focus on Covid-19 hotspots. Although, the situation seems to be under control and returning to normalcy, the state government does not want to take any chance.
The government has directed district collectors of Kurnool, Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam and Krishna to intensify surveillance in containment zones and restrict movement of public.
The crackdown comes following the sudden surge of corona positive cases in Prakasam and Kurnool. Guntur city registered nearly 35 positive cases despite tracking and tracing of all the Delhi and foreign returnees’ since the initial days of the outbreak of the virus. Taking a serious note of the issue, Guntur district collector Samuel Anand Kumar issued special notification making wearing of masks mandatory in the city. A penalty of Rs 1,000 will be imposed if anyone were to be found in public places without a mask.