<br>In less than an hour, personnel of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have sealed, with 8-10 feet high barricades, half a dozen entry and exit points, covering a large part of Janaki Nagar colony. They tied Covid-19 containment zone No Entry' banner to an iron wall serving as the single entry point to the containment area.
Those using the colony roads as thoroughfares were caught unawares while the residents started discussing in hush-hush tones the reason for their colony suddenly being declared a ‘red zone'.
Many were concerned over the turn of events as they had not noticed anything amiss to warrant such an action by authorities. Inquiries revealed two deaths in a family in less than a week created a doubt about the cause and health authorities sent the remaining members of the family into quarantine.
Neighbours said a woman was sick for a long time while her daughter who was also not keeping good health died of shock.
Speculations continued in the absence of any official version about the confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases. GHMC personnel on Thursday morning conducted a door to door survey and collected details from about 50 houses in the containment zone.
The authorities apparently did not want to take a chance after 17 members of a family were found infected in Bhavani Nagar area of the old city of Hyderabad two days ago. Four days after the death of a woman, it was found that she was Covid-19 positive. Screening of the family members resulted in 17 family members including a child testing positive.
Like Janaki Nagar, there are 126 containment zones also called red zones in the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), and account for 267 out of 514 active cases in the state as of April 15
Police along with GHMC and HealthDdepartment are strictly enforcing the containment plan following direction from the state government, which is concerned over Hyderabad being a hotspot along with seven other districts in the state.
The very idea of setting up a containment zone is to contain the spread of the virus and that is why outsiders are not allowed to enter the zone and those who live in the zone are not permitted to leave, not even to buy medicines, vegetables, groceries or other essentials. GHMC officials promise the same will be delivered at their doorsteps.
Health officials said since the virus could spread fast in highly density areas in Greater Hyderabad, they are creating containment zones to check the spread.
Senior officials including Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar continued to monitor the situation in the red zones, where people are being screened regularly and those with suspected symptoms are being isolated.
Residents in some containment zones have complained of not getting the supply of essentials.
Meanwhile, Industry Minister K. T. Rama Rao on Thursday visited containment zones in the city and interacted with the citizens.
He went around the containment centres in Khairatabad, Mallepally and Asif Nagar along with. He said the government was doing its best to supply essentials at the doorstep in these zones and requested citizens to stay home and stay safe.