Health department proposes to extend LOR curbs in Patel Nagar, SohnaUpdated: Jul 11, 2020 00:23 IST
Ten days after the district administration announced strict curbs in eight large outbreak regions (LORs) in the city, the health department has proposed to extend these measures beyond the deadline of July 14 in Patel Nagar and bring Sohna under LOR, citing a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in these areas. The final decision in this regard will only be taken after a reassessment on July 13, said officials.
The health department, on Friday, said it plans to extend the regulatory measures in some areas under Patel Nagar public health centre (PHC), including Patel Nagar, Jyoti Park, Madanpuri and Arjun Nagar, which have been designated as LOR since July 1. These areas fall under ward number 16 of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG). In addition to this, it plans to bring Sohna under LOR due to a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in these areas.
Patel Nagar recorded 73 cases of Covid-19 between June 30 and July 10, while Sohna reported 94 cases during the same period. It is because of this reason that the number of containment zones in Sohna was also increased to seven from four by the district administration on Friday evening.
As per a government order issued on June 27, a large outbreak is defined as a localised increase in Covid-19 cases within a defined geographical area in a village, a town or a city. The cases may or may not be epidemiologically linked. For operational purposes, a region is notified as a LOR when there are 15 or more Covid-19 cases, while a containment zone has five or more cases.
As per the June 27 order, eight wards in the city were designated as LORs, and strict curbs were imposed in these areas from July 1-14. According to the government order, industrial activities in LOR are only permitted if the workers stay on the factory premises. Only essential shops and commercial establishments are allowed to be opened in these areas. The movement of people outside and inside the LORs is strictly prohibited.
Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer (CMO), Gurugram, on Friday, said that the number of Covid-19 cases in areas falling under the Patel Nagar PHC and Sohna have been found to be high. “We have therefore proposed to extend containment measures in Patel Nagar and bring Sohna under LOR. Further, we have increased the number of rapid antigen testing in these areas and have already held two camps. The final decision regarding the notification of the LORs would be taken by the district administration,” he said.
Areas under Patel Nagar PHC, such as Patel Nagar, Arjun Nagar, Madanpuri and Jyoti Park, which are located in Old Gurugram, are high density areas, where social distancing is difficult to be enforced as people live in close quarters, said health department officials, adding that this is a major reason why there has been a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in these areas.
HT VISITS PATEL NAGAR
A visit to the area by HT on Thursday revealed that while external boundaries of these colonies have been barricaded, the movement of people inside these zones was almost unrestricted. Shops were open and there was little social distancing among residents.
More than half of the people in these areas were seen moving without masks. Although restaurants and other eateries are supposed to be closed, many were found to be open.
Despite authorities putting curbs on movement of people, heavy traffic movement could be witnessed in several of these areas. In fact, in lane number 1 in Arjun Park, some local residents had even allegedly removed the barricade to access Basai Road.
“The police have barricaded the entry and exit in these areas and health workers have also visited us. However, there is no restriction on the movement of people. Police officials are asking people to wear masks but it is more of a voluntary measure. Only movement outside the zones has been difficult,” said Deepak Kumar, an area resident.
Another resident, however, said that due to barricading of external roads, the movement of traffic had become quite difficult and people were facing trouble. Devender Chotani, a senior citizen, said, “They (authorities) keep barricading more lanes every day. Accessing outside roads, especially Pataudi Road towards New Colony crossing, has been difficult and people are facing problems. How will an ambulance come to an internal lane from the main road in case of an emergency?“
Police officials deployed in the area, however, said that their job was to ensure restriction on the movement of vehicles and they were allowing only emergency vehicles, ambulances and those carrying essential goods.
Devender Kumar, sub inspector (SI), New Colony police station, who was deputed at a barricade in Madanpuri, said, “As per the norms, we are only allowing people to pass through if they have a medical emergency or need to purchase essential supplies. There are exceptions for health workers and waste collection staff. Trespassing is strictly prohibited. Often commuters request us to let them pass through, but we have to comply with the norms.”
The district administration officials, when asked about the rampant violations of curbs in these areas, said that their focus was on containment without inconveniencing people and promoting voluntary enforcement by locals rather than penal action. “We are trying to create awareness among people about wearing masks and ensure social distancing. If required, the enforcement of curbs in containment areas can be made stricter and challans can also be issued in large numbers. But people in the containment zones and LORs will have to take responsibility themselves to stop the spread of this virus,” said Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, Gurugram.
Khatri also said that they will reassess the situation in the LORs on July 13 and a decision regarding reducing or extending restrictions can only be taken after the reassessment.