Negligent enforcement led to rise in Covid-19 positive patients, opine locals
The Uttarakhand government has announced a two-day lockdown on the weekend to break the chain of Covid-19 contagion in the State but according to several locals and businessmen, it is the negligence of the administration due to which there is a sudden rise in the number of Covid-19 positive patients in recent days.
“I agree that we all need to take preventive measures against this disease but the government should also be a little firm about the protocols everywhere. I see several people walking around in the market without any mask in front of the police but they say nothing. I have myself told many people to wear a mask and then enter in my store but some question why I have an issue if the police aren’t saying anything. We should accept that most people are ignorant here and the administration needs to be stricter with them,” said Harish Gusain, a store manager in Paltan Bazaar. Some store owners also stated that the administration did not pay any attention to the marketplaces after the relaxations were approved in the initial days of Unlock 1 and therefore, the positive cases of Covid-19 are increasing rapidly in the city. A local businessman from Rajpur said, “The administration should have extended the timing of marketplaces until 4 PM only because if someone really needs to buy something, they will come even on a hot day. I agree we do not get many customers during the day but we also need to protect ourselves and our families. All I know is something is better than nothing in the current crisis. Instead of closing a whole day, the government could limit the timing by a few hours every day besides Sunday.” However, many locals blamed shopkeepers at marketplaces for ignoring the negligence of some customers regarding the basic protocols. According to a housewife Shweta Pant, “We cannot blame our government for everything bad that happens in the State. If the cases are increasing in the main market areas, the store owners are equally responsible for it as much as the customers. I have seen many shopkeepers asking customers to wear masks or cover their noses properly with the mask or use sanitiser before entering the shop but if some ignorant people refuse to do it stating they are feeling suffocated or hot inside the store, the shopkeepers say nothing. It is probably because they fear losing some customers but they should understand that if every shopkeeper insists that customers observe basic precautions, they would have to comply.”
Meanwhile, some locals also opined that since many recent cases of Covid-19 have been asymptomatic, the spitting in public besides throwing the used masks in open areas can be the reason of contagion in the city. “I do not see any specific dustbin in any public place where one can throw a used mask or gloves. We have to dump such items in our regular garbage but I don’t know how the municipal corporation separates thousands of such things from the garbage collected by them every day. I suppose our protecting pieces of equipment have started to infect us indirectly due to their improper disposal,” said a local teacher, Sapna Negi.
Saturday, 18 July 2020 | PNS | Dehradun