SRIKAKULAM: With the spike in Covid-19 cases, almost half of the mandals in Srikakulam district have gone under voluntary lockdown taking inspiration from the self-enforced lockdown being observed by people of Palasa for two weeks to curb the spread of the virus in their town. Several mandals, including Ichchapuram, Ponduru, Tekkali, Sompeta, Baruva, Ranasthalam and Rajam, have enforced voluntary lockdown. With no let up in corona cases, the district count crossed the 500-mark on Thursday.
Nine fresh cases emerged in the district taking the total to 508. The district administration has already admitted that community transmission of virus started in Srikakulam. Some towns enforced voluntary lockdown to prevent the further spread of the virus, while other mandals enforced it to keep Covid-19 at bay. Though no Covid-19 cases were reported in Rajam, Ponduru and Sompeta, the people have enforced voluntary lockdown to restrict the virus from entering their towns.
Ranasthalam youth initiated the voluntary lockdown for three days almost two months ago to contain the spread of virus and it was the first of its kind in the district. As Palasa recorded Covid-19 cases, including one death, the business community and local people declared voluntary lockdown till the end of this month. As the voluntary lockdown has yielded results in containing the spread of virus, several other towns and villages have opted for it with the support of civic, police and revenue officials. People of several villages have been observing lockdown voluntarily by restricting the entry of others into their villages and they are also not venturing out except for medical emergencies.
Business people and village heads have urged the civic, revenue and police officials to extend support to voluntary lockdown, said Rayipalli Rambabu of Ponduru. “We have decided to observe lockdown for 20 days in the initial phase and it may be extended based on the situation,’’ he said. All shops and business establishments, except medical stores and clinics, will be closed after 2 pm, he added.
Similarly, a group of volunteers has been creating awareness among people about precautions to be taken to prevent spread of Covid-19. After a few cases were reported in Ichchapuram, people and businessmen have decided to observe voluntary lockdown to prevent further spread of coronavirus, said Tahsildar Amala. As part of the lockdown, shops and business establishments will remain open from 6 to 10 am only.