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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

In South Delhi slum with two cases, strict checking on roads, fear in homes

District police have barricaded roads outside the camp and deployed a team to patrol the area and check for violations. Inside the camp, the pradhan and a group of residents have parked trucks and auto-rickshaws outside lanes to block movement of residents.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi | Published: April 6, 2020 2:29:09 am
In South Delhi slum with two cases, strict checking on roads, fear in homes At the Moti Bagh slum cluster, Sunday. Renuka Puri

With roads blocked and the area sealed, residents at a JJ camp in Moti Bagh are a tense lot. On Saturday, a resident of the camp tested positive for coronavirus, following which the area was cordoned off and police were deployed.

Residents at the JJ camp mainly work as fruit and vegetable sellers, but with markets shut and movement restricted, the lack of income is another issue. The patient, aged 50, is a contractual sanitation worker at the AIIMS Trauma Centre. His wife, who works as a sanitation worker at Charak Palika Hospital, has also tested positive. Both have been shifted to RML Hospital, officials said. Their children have been shifted to the quarantine facility at Chhatarpur.

Rajender Sharma, a resident of the camp, said, “After we saw the ambulance take him, we hid in our house. My wife knows the family and often speaks to them. I told my wife to stay in a different room; I am scared that my family will get infected. Police are only allowing a handful of people to go outside to buy groceries and medicines. I don’t have a lot of money, and I won’t go out. It’s better to stay here and be safe.”

Some residents complained that they should have been informed about the incident sooner. On Sunday, people peeped through their windows as police and other volunteers patrolled the streets and shouted at residents who stepped out.

District police have barricaded roads outside the camp and deployed a team to patrol the area and check for violations. Inside the camp, the pradhan and a group of residents have parked trucks and auto-rickshaws outside lanes to block movement of residents.

The pradhan, Suraj Singh, said, “We won’t let anyone leave the area. There are more than 20 families who live near the patient’s house. During lunchtime, we get food with the help of policemen or we go to the Sarvodaya school.”

The camp, also called Sabzi Mandi Colony, has over 3,000 houses, including several makeshift tents.

Asha, a fruit seller who lives there, said, “The man was under home quarantine for the last five-six days. When I came to know about the test results, I was a bit scared because his wife buys fruits from me. I don’t have any symptoms and hopefully, I am fine. Their neighbours are shocked and not speaking to anyone. Since the area has two big markets, people fear that the virus may have spread. Police have shut all shops and are not letting anyone come here and buy fruits from my stall.”

DCP (southwest) Devender Arya said, “We have sealed the area completely and police personnel have been deployed outside to patrol the streets. We are helping residents with food and trying to restrict their movement. We don’t want them to go out and violate rules.”

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