As Covid-19 restrictions go in Sectors 38 and 52, residents are cautious but happy to be ‘free’
De-sealing Sector 38 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and lifting containment zone restrictions in Sector 52 on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, have come as a relief for residents.
Sumit Kumar, a 14-year-old boy, said he was thrilled to finally visit his best friend living close by in Sector 52, where one Covid-positive case was reported. For 28 days from May 1, locked in his house, Kumar and many more children like him were forbidden from playing outdoors as houses were sealed and movement restricted.
Sector 38, from where three positive cases were reported, was sealed on April 30. All patients have recovered.
“We have realised what freedom truly means now,” said Ramlal, Kumar’s father, thanking the police and Chandigarh administration officials with folded hands as barricades were removed from Sector 52.
Police officials present in the area too said it was good that the residents would finally get some respite. Talking to the public, a police person who did not want to be named said: “Many people here complained about the inconveniences of living in a sealed area and now they are free. These steps were only taken for their safety.”
Her employer was not very happy with the fact that she could not attend office, so Shweta Kumari, 22, was looking forward to joining work in a private firm. “I could not get out of because of the restrictions and am relieved to be able to get to work,” she said.
Bihari Lal, 30, said his worries mounted as his savings depleted. “Now rejoining work at the confectionary store in Sector 44 will get things back on track. For people, the lockdown was lifted a month ago, for us, it opened today,” he said.
For 37-year-old Manjot Singh, a driver and resident of Sector 38, it was traumatic to live in a sealed residential area. “First, it was the Covid-19 threat and then we were isolated and living in suspense, not knowing when the restrictions would be lifted. None of us will forget this phase in our lives.”
Also living in Sector 38, Madhu Lata, a home maker, said getting fresh vegetables, milk and essential items was difficult. “Our children could not buy the books they needed. Getting medicines for my mother-in-law was an impossible task.”
When it comes to other areas in the city, containment in Shastri Nagar will end on May 31. Only three areas, including Sector 30 B, Kachi Colony in Dhanas, Bapu Dham Colony will remain containment zones.