With a 52-year-old man testing positive for COVID-19 in the city, the district administration has launched a comprehensive sanitation drive in the neighbourhood and moved the person and his close family members to the isolation ward in Vijayawada.
The person, a close relative of an elected representative, is a tobacco trader and lives in an apartment at Mangaldas Nagar. He is married and has two sons.
His recent travel history showed that on March 13, he, along with a group of family members and traders, had left for New Delhi and stayed there at Nizammuddin Dargah for five days. On March 18, he had boarded Duranto Express (coach no. S 8) and arrived in Vijayawada on March 19. On March 20, he had gone to a local mosque for Friday prayers. The following day, he had visited Suraksha Hospital at Gunturivarithota. On March 22 he attended a family dinner. On March 23, he was admitted to the Infectious Diseases (Fever) Hospital at Gorantla with symptoms of fever, cough, and body pains. His samples (both oral swab and blood) were collected and sent to the VRDL lab in Vijayawada. The following day, he was shifted to Vijayawada for further treatment. Four of his close family members were sent to the isolation ward at GGH, Guntur.
The medical condition of the person was declared as normal.
Soon after the news broke out, the district administration began sanitising the entire area. Revenue personnel elicited information from the affected person about all the persons he had come in contact with during the period he was in New Delhi, where he was suspected to have contracted the infection.
The surveyed areas were Rajagopal Nagar, Maddira Colony, Arundhati Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Bongaralu Beedu. Auto Nagar, Mangaldas Nagar, Nehru Nagar, Israelpet, and RTC Colony.
Minister for Health Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, who conducted an emergency review meeting with district, civic and police officials on Thursday, said that 9,800 houses had been sanitized and the entire area declared a containment zone.
Word of caution
Meanwhile, Guntur Municipal Corporation personnel led by Commissioner C. Anuradha launched an all-out sanitation drive at Mangaldas Nagar, covering a radius of 3-km.
An emergency team led by District Medical and Health Officer descended on the ward secretariat in Ward No. 1. The team identified 38 colonies within the 3-km radius of the apartment and divided the area into 1,650 clusters. The team also identified that there are 58,843 houses, 4,846 shops and 10 roads linking the area to the main road. They closed the roads and warned people against venturing out through the public address system.
Over 700 sanitary personnel and 150 malaria personnel launched a sanitation drive spraying sodium hypochroloride solution at each house. Fire tenders were used to spray the solution. The DMHO also deputed 60 teams for a door-to-door survey.