The administration has set up two sanitisation tunnels — one outside Sanjay Market and the other outside the prison. “Sanjay Market is frequented by many. To manually ensure they wash hands is not possible,” said Baliram Bhagat, a police constable on duty at the market. The tunnel has plastic curtains and tarpaulin walls and six foggers arranged on the ceiling. In the 30 seconds it takes to walk through, one can see a layer of bleach water on surfaces.
The other tunnel is outside Jagdalpur jail, also a worry spot.
“Everything, from conceptualising to testing out how much bleach can be used safely, took us one day,” said Vikas Mishra, deputy director (agriculture department), Jagdalpur. “The foggers disperse diluted bleach water, which ensures there would be less microbes on the person,” he said. Mishra and his team has also come up with a sanitiser dispensing contraption that can be operated with feet. “We saw a video where a BSF personnel was washing his hand while operating the water flow with his feet and tried to copy the device,” Mishra said. “We now have testing kiosks, which are being used for sample collection. We have a shielded cabin for health workers, where people can come and get tested if they show symptoms. These kiosks are going to be placed at district borders,” Collector Ayyaj Tamboli said. The kiosks have a glass wall with two gloved holes through which the health worker can take the sample from the person outside while maintaining least contact.
Amreli, which has a population of more than 15 lakh, has not recorded any COVID-19 case yet. Collector Ayush Oak attributes this to the health department screening and the police enforcing the lockdown.
Oak says 80,000 people returned to their homes in Amreli from other cities as the lockdown was announced. This, he said, included 215 people who returned after travelling overseas. He said the health department launched a door-to-door survey and found that 3,665 of them had symptoms of flu and they were put under quarantine. “Police and health teams were rigorous in keeping watch. People mostly complied with quarantine requirements and four or five who defied orders were booked and shifted to a facility quarantine,” the collector said.
The collector added that the health department has completed two rounds of door-to-door survey and the third is in progress.
To prevent crowding in markets, the district administration has laid down some rules. Provision stores can remain open from 10 am to 2 pm and vegetables can be sold from 7 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm.
Bongaigaon & Barpeta, Assam
Bongaigaon and Barpeta in western Assam are adjacent districts with no COVID-19 cases yet.
Bongaigaon administration has sealed three villages, comprising over 500 households, which lie adjacent to Chapar town of Dhubri, which has reported three cases so far.
One month’s ration in advance was made available to these sealed villages, Deputy Commissioner M S Lakshmi Priya said. Priya said officials were keeping a watch on those quarantined so that anyone showing symptoms. Barpeta saw a large number of migrant workers return hurriedly before the lockdown was announced. S Kashyap, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said a little over 2,100 people were in quarantine as on Friday evening. He said that after they complete two weeks in quarantine, they will be under passive surveillance and advised isolation for two more weeks.
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?
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