Hyderabad: Containment clusters back in old city

The decision taken following an increase in Covid cases in certain pockets of the area

By Author  |  Published: 14th Jul 2020  12:43 amUpdated: 14th Jul 2020  12:55 am
A scooterist coming out of a containment zone in violation of restrictions, in the old city on Monday.— Photos: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: After a gap of a few weeks, containment clusters are back in vogue in certain areas of the old city over the last few days.

The decision to reintroduce the concept of containment clusters was reportedly taken following an increase in Covid-19 cases in certain pockets of the old city. The containment clusters are mainly seen in Sultan Shahi, Moghalpura, Lal Darwaza and Shahalibanda areas of the old city.

Ashok Samrath, Zonal Commissioner (South) GHMC said wherever there was a high concentration of Covid-19 cases, they were barricading the area and marking it as a cluster zone.

“Around 20 cluster zones have come up in the South Zone in the last four days,” he said, adding that the GHMC had previously been only barricading the houses where there were cases.

“Now we are identifying lanes or neighbourhoods with multiple cases and then declaring the area as a cluster. Our teams are later barricading the area to ensure that the people stay inside the houses. We are also taking up disinfecting works,” the official said.

Interestingly, on Monday, when this correspondent visited some of the cluster zones, there were people moving around the area on two wheelers and walking around. The local population in the areas were themselves unaware of how many positive cases there were as no official was seen around.

“Three days ago, a few workers came and put up the barricades. When we enquired with them, they said there were positive cases of Covid-19 here and asked us to be careful,” said Shaik Salim, a resident of Sultanshahi.

At Moghalpura, on the Ishrath function hall road, the bamboo barricade was removed by the people to facilitate the movement of the vehicles. “A few persons removed a part of the barricade to make way for their motorcycles. Authorities should use barricades that cannot be easily removed,” suggested Ikram Ali, a mechanic.

Abdul Sameer, who earlier worked at function halls, now makes a living by sanitising auto-rickshaws in the old city.

Youngsters forced to switch jobs

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing many persons to change their occupations in the old city to make a living during the crisis.

Several youngsters, who lost their jobs and sources of income during the lockdown, are now taking up new jobs. Interestingly, the jobs that they are taking up are those necessitated by the pandemic in one way or the other. Take the case of Abdul Sameer, who earlier worked at function halls at Chandrayangutta in the city. With no work around for the last few months, Sameer is now sanitising or disinfecting auto-rickshaws at parking stands.

“I charge Rs 30 for the service and earn around Rs 300 to Rs 400 a day. Auto drivers line up to get their vehicle sanitised,” he said. Sameer started the new job after an acquaintance donated an agriculture spraying machine to him.

Several other youngsters too are taking up the sanitising of auto-rickshaws and cabs at bus stations and auto/cab stands in the city.

A few others like Mohammed Khasim, a resident of Khilwat, have started home sanitising agencies and hired a few youngsters. “Most of the youth employed by me lost their jobs due to Covid-19 or are those who are not getting enough work following the fear of the pandemic. At least two of them are AC technicians and as people are not allowing outsiders inside houses for fear of contracting the virus, they are not getting jobs,” said Khasim.

Ahsanullah Baig, who works as a cab driver during regular days, has taken up the job of sanitising homes and vehicles. “I earn around Rs 500 a day. I bought a spraying machine and disinfectant liquid from Tilak Road. I put up advertisements on WhatsApp and Facebook and get phone calls,” he added.


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