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Friday, October 30, 2020

In Noida, queues for essential supplies defeat idea of social distancing

According to locals, long queues were seen at society gates as people lined up to buy vegetables, fruits and milk.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | Noida | Updated: April 11, 2020 9:51:53 am
coronavirus outbreak, covid 19 cases, social distancing, Noida news, indian expressnews At the entrance to Noida’s Chaura village. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

Confusion prevailed in the containment zones in Noida on day two, with thousands of families behind locked gates complaining that arrangements for delivery of essential items are inadequate.The orders to seal 12 areas in Gautam Budh Nagar district were passed Wednesday.

According to locals, long queues were seen at society gates as people lined up to buy vegetables, fruits and milk. Since the societies are sealed, no one except health and district administration officials are allowed to enter or exit the areas.

While in some societies, online suppliers are being allowed till individual towers, some residents said some vendors declined citing logistical difficulties. Locals also claimed that many of the vendor contacts given by the administration are non-functional.

“There is chaos, lots of people are gathering at the society gates for supplies. A few delivery companies have told us they will not deliver. If a system is not devised soon, not only will supplies run out, but there will be quarrels too,” said a resident of a society in Sector 137, where three members of a family were found positive.

While the administration informed RWAs that fruit and vegetable vendors will be stationed at the gates of the societies, and other essential deliveries shall not be stopped, locals alleged that the supplies were sporadic.

Officials said they are working towards streamlining the system. “Late Thursday night, police and administration officials visited each hotspot to ensure that residents get all essential supplies. We have tied up with local grocery stores and medical shops for this. Fruit and vegetable vendors have been stationed at the gates and supply of milk too has been ensured. We are trying to minimise inconvenience,” said Suhas LY, DM Gautam Budh Nagar.

“We are trying to figure out a mechanism in which societies that can manage deliveries till within the tower will be allowed to do so. At this point, we will have to look at the area and number of people at each hotspot and devise a plan accordingly,” he said.

In Noida, a majority of the 64 reported coronavirus cases have been linked to a fire safety firm in Sector 135. According to medical officials, the screening process in the hotspots will remain the same as before and teams will take feedback on symptoms from residents. In each zone, there have been at least two cases.

Authorities have ruled out any instance of community transmission as of now.

“At this point it seems that the chain of cases that had begun with the first fire safety firm official will cease in the coming few days. Due to our extensive screening, we had identified family members who had tested positive. With that link breaking, the cases will go down as well. The teams will be calling up families to track symptoms and samples will be taking accordingly,” said Dr Anurag Bhargava of the Gautam Budh Nagar Health Department.

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