Work from home for corporate companies, further restrictions on gatherings in the district, use of PCRs as ambulances, and water cannons as sanitisation vehicles – these are some of the measures authorities in Gurgaon announced on Sunday in an effort to curb and manage the Covid pandemic which has been wreaking havoc across the district this month.
Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg, on Sunday, issued two orders with regard to the pandemic – one imposing Section 144 in the district and another announcing further “directions and guidelines for the containment of Covid-19 pandemic”.
The directions and guidelines include “work from home” for “All IT/ITES units and Corporate offices” in the district until 9 am on May 3, 2021, as well as further restrictions on gatherings – a cap of 30 persons in indoor spaces, which would include “all Cinemas/ Theatres/ Multiplexes/ Bars/ Hotels/ Clubs/ Gyms”, a cap of 50 persons in gatherings in open spaces, and a cap of 20 people for funerals and cremations.
“It is further directed that the organisers of Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations shall take prior permission of concerned sub-divisional magistrate,” states the order.
“The public is hereby advised to conduct marriages and other functions during day time only so as to avoid rush/ traffic inconvenience at the time of commencement of ‘Corona Curfew’,” it adds.
In the order imposing Section 144 in the district, Garg states, “…it is evident that there has been an exponential surge in the Covid cases in the District Gurugram, and necessary measures are to be adopted to contain the spread of the Covid-19 and also to ensure minimum collateral damage to the system.”
Prohibiting “the gathering of more than four people, unless specifically permitted”, the order adds that it “shall not apply on police force and other public servants on duty, persons of medical industries, Institutions, persons working in sectors related to essential products/services.”
Gurgaon Police also announced a slew of measures that personnel would be adopting in coordination with other agencies in the district to help manage the pandemic. Among these is the launch of a helpdesk and helpline where people can call, message, or WhatsApp to seek any help and to also tip off police about anyone involved in black marketing of medicines, oxygen gas or any other equipment. A panel of doctors will also be attached to the helpdesk and helpline so that people can consult them via video call or video conference and get feedback about their health and whether they need hospitalisation.
“Based on the advice of the doctors, teams of Gurgaon Police will also transport the prescribed medicines to patients at their homes. The effort will be to ensure that they get their medicine within 4-5 hours. Agreements have been reached with several pharmaceutical companies who will be providing the medicines,” said Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon Police.
Officials said that, to further assist people in a medical context, 20 PCR vehicles will also be fitted with necessary equipment and used as ambulances.
“These will be available to help those who have confirmed beds in hospitals. The vehicles are being deployed in different parts of Gurgaon district so that people can be helped without any delay,” said Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon Police.
Furthermore, Gurgaon Police will also tie up with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) to convert water cannons into disinfection vehicles, which will be used at markets and other crowded places in the district, or areas with high infection. The chemical for sanitisation, officials said, will be provided by the MCG.
“Around half of the police force has been deployed in Covid-related duties. A close eye is also being kept on gatherings, religious places, and other crowded areas, and police personnel are constantly penalising people found to be violating Covid norms,” said PRO Boken.
For the fourth day in a row, Gurgaon, on Sunday, recorded more than 3,000 new Covid cases, with 3,410 people testing positive. The district crossed the figure of 1 lakh in terms of Covid cases recorded from the time the pandemic first broke out last year, with the health department’s bulletin revealing that 1,03,284 people have tested positive in the district so far.
The district also recorded its highest count of fatalities in a single day on Sunday, with 11 people succumbing to the infection. Prior to this, the highest number of fatalities had been recorded on April 22, when 10 people had died because of Covid.
At present, Gurgaon has 25,086 active Covid cases, of which 23,982 are in home isolation.