KASARAGOD: Rathi Devi, 53, a former staffer of the Endosulfan Cell in Kasaragod, was edgy for the past two days.Her husband Krishnan Nair, 61, who recently suffered a stroke, ran out of medicine two days ago.
The couple lives alone in Kanathur, a village just 20km from Kasaragod town. But as part of the ‘double lockdown’ to beat the spread of Covid-19, the police have stopped anybody from travelling beyond their own village. Kasaragod has 128 positive cases, of which 45 are local transmission, the highest in the state.
For medicine and food provision, the police have formed WhatsApp groups, where people can place their order.
Rathi placed orders for medicines on Wednesday, and even at 3 pm on Thursday, they were not delivered.
Nair cannot afford to miss his pills, six in a day. “I should have stocked up the medicine but I did not see the lockdown coming,” she said.
Rathi said Nair was recovering. “If something happens, we cannot even go to Mangaluru now,” she said.
But she was needlessly worrying. At 6 pm, she called TNIE to say an officer delivered her medicine.
The delivery was delayed because the medicine was not available in Kasaragod, said town inspector C A Abdul Rahim. “We had to source them,” he said.
That is Kasaragod police’s COD (cash on delivery) service in the time of Covid. The police and health officials changed the tact after one in every three imported cases turned out to be locally transmitted.
The district was the first to go into lockdown on March 21, a day before Janata Curfew. On Friday, it will complete two weeks in lockdown. “Now we have stopped anybody from travelling beyond their own village. In Kasaragod town, which is a hotspot, you will not find more than 150 persons at any given time. We have regulated entry,” said district police chief P S Sabu.
Inspector General Vijay Sakhare, who was sent in to immediately arrest the movement of the public, installed an app on the phones of those who were quarantined. The app kept a tab on their movement. “Those who jumped the quarantine were picked and put up in a lodge,” said Sabu.The COD service ensured people stayed at home, he said. On Wednesday, the town police delivered food and medicine to 170 houses.
The district administration has identified five clusters -- Mogral Puthur, Thalangara, Chemnad, Vidyanagar and Eriyal -- where the lockdown has been doubled up. “In these areas, no one should be out for medicine or food,” said Sabu.At the same time, the health officials have ramped up the contact tracing of those tested positive.On March 23, a day after flights were suspended, Kasaragod had only 857 persons in quarantine, when it had the highest number of positive cases at 38.
Since it has gone on to identify the “last contact” of the positive cases, according to Kumar.On Thursday, 10,232 persons are in quarantine.“The imported cases will begin to fall from this week as the lock-in period of those who came from abroad comes to an end,” said district surveillance office Dr A T Manoj. The effect of keeping people indoor will be seen in the next two weeks, he said.