VIJAYAWADA/ VISAKHAPATNAM: At a time when people in urban areas are taking social distancing as suggested by doctors and the government, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, villagers in Ambapuram and Nainavaram on Tuesday restricted the entry of outsiders and vehicles from Vijayawada and Hyderabad.
A few days ago, a coronavirus positive case was reported in Vijayawada and a high alert was sounded across the district. The State itself is in a lockdown as seven more positive cases have been reported. As Telangana too is facing the corona scare with 36 cases recorded so far, the villagers have decided to prevent vehicular movement from Hyderabad.
Carrying placards and wearing masks, the people reached the village borders and prevented outsiders by parking their vehicles on the roads and sprinkled bleaching powder on the road. They disinfected the borders with sodium hypochlorite.
A tense situation prevailed for sometime as the villagers allowed entry to vehicles only after verifying the passengers’ details. “We have taken this decision to prevent the spread of the virus, which is creating a panic in Krishna district,” said B Dinesh, native of Ambapuram.
He further said that everyday, several villagers travel to the city for their livelihood and other purposes. "After the district administration imposed lockdown, instructions were given to the villagers to prevent outsiders from entering our villages as a precautionary measure," he claimed.
"As part of our responsibility, we have deployed people who work in three shifts and guard the borders and will continue to do so till the completion of the lockdown period. With liquor shops remaining closed for the past two days in the city, several youths and working class are travelling through our village to consume toddy at the shops in Pathapadu. In this scenario, we have no option but to restrict the outsiders. We also asked toddy tappers in the village to stop their opearations for the next one week," G Vamsi Krishna, another villager, said.
Meanwhile, the villagers of Jagannadhapuram and Jujuru in Veerulapadu mandal, Krishna district, also closed the borders of their villages with natural fencing. They maintained that they took the decision as part of isolating themselves to prevent the spread of the virus and appealed to the outsiders to stay away from their villages till the completion of lockdown period.
‘Wash your hands before entering village’
A group of youngsters of Upparapalli village of S Rayavaram Mandal in Visakhapatnam district set up a checkpoint at the entrance of the village to ward off the spread of COVID-19.At the checkpoint, anyone visiting the village should clean their hands and legs before entering the village as a preventive measure to curtail the spread of the virus.
About five friends took initiative and arranged water and handwash at the checkpoint for people to clean their hands and legs. "At times like this, it is important that each of us take the responsibility of preventing the spread of the virus. Washing legs and hands before entering anyone’s home is a part of Indian culture. Bringing back that culture during times like this is important and would curtail the spread of the virus at least to some extent," said one of the youths who took the initiative.
Villagers lauded the initiative of the youth and followed the instructions to ensure that the virus is not spread.