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Containment zone residents in Madurai unmask the 'sanitised' reality

For a section of the containment zone residents in city limits, their areas are being treated just like any normal zone, and they were not given masks and sanitiser as mandated by guidelines.

Published: 07th May 2020 08:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2020 01:43 PM   |  A+A-

Representational Image. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

MADURAI: For a section of the containment zone residents in city limits, their areas are being treated just like any normal zone, and they were not given masks and sanitiser as mandated by containment guidelines.

Of the 100 wards in the city, around 28 areas fall under the containment zone. While Madurai Corporation claimed (in the earlier press releases) that 5-km radius of the main containment zone and 2-km radius of a buffer zone would be monitored, residents beg to differ.

A resident of Balaji Nagar 1st Street in Vandiyur, A Perumal (52), said that he came to know that a few locals, who were his acquaintances, tested positive for COVID-19 through news channels. The area has four COVID-19 cases now.

Perumal said: “Even before the first COVID-19 case was reported in our area, domestic breeding checkers used to come to our area on a daily basis for door-to-door survey. They taught us a few breathing exercises. However, after our area was declared a containment zone, the announcements were made by police and that too for the first few days only.”

Officials did the door-to-door survey twice in the past 13 days in Vandiyur, while the disinfection was carried out only on Vandiyur Main Road.

“I live just two streets away from the house of COVID-19 patients. However, our area doesn’t seem like a containment zone,” Perumal added.

Contradicting the civic body’s statement that ‘Kabasura Kudineer’ (herbal concoction) is being given to all residents of containment zones daily, K Jothi of the locality said the concoction was distributed only once in her street.

“Let alone the concoction distribution, our area is not even barricaded. But, essential commodities are made available,” she added.

While the containment norms mandate distribution of masks and hand sanitiser to each household in every containment zone, one L Ponni of Race Course Colony, where a staff nurse from Government Rajaji Hospital was tested positive, said her area was neither visited by frontline workers nor they were provided masks and sanitiser.

Denying the allegations, Corporation Commissioner S Visakan said as per the latest guidelines, 1-km radius from the residence of a COVID-19 patient is locked down with barricades.

“If we go by the earlier guidelines, the entire Madurai city should be locked down. As it is infeasible, we were told to shrink the radius,” he said. The norms mandate to increase the tests in containment zones through random sampling.

“We are testing those who have influenza-like illness and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness. Also, those who visited the local hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms are also being tested,” the official added.

Fact Sheet

Containment zones: 13.

Total houses contained: 1,01,943.

Total population contained: 5,10,101.

Each house in the containment zone must be given masks and sanitiser.

More from Tamil Nadu.

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