Chennai: Kambar Street in Velacheri was Covid-19 free in the first four lockdowns. But now, there are two positive cases here.
One was reported during the fag end of fourth lockdown on 28 May and and the second case on 1 June.
Both the patients are hospitalised. One worked as a police driver at a DGP’s office, while the other was a techie working in Bengaluru.
But the neighbourhood is not alarmed. The street is not closed and people are moving around freely.
Remember at the beginning of the lockdown the families of Covid-19 patients were ostracised, frontline workers were assaulted, shamed and denied entry to their own buildings and neighbourhoods. On its part, the government closed the whole area if even one person was found with Covid-19 infection. Now it seems everyone has learnt to live with the pandemic.
A resident of Velacheri said, “Both patients males in their 40s. The health officials have not even barricaded the area. People are going in and out of the street as if nothing has happened. The neighbours are not even being tested for the virus.”
In the fifth phase of the curfew with many relaxations being given, it does not feel that the city is under a lockdown.
Out of 12,000 persons being tested each day, in the past few days, at least 10 per cent, that is 1167 are testing positive.
Experts feel that they will be able to flatten the curve only after 25 per cent of the population contracts the illness. But, are the public taking the relaxations for granted and not taking any precautions?
There are several memes doing the rounds on social media about the fifth lockdown and the relaxations given. One says: Government to Public- “Do whatever you want as we can’t do anything about it”.
Many opine that the lockdown cannot continue like this and people need to get back to business.
Dr Ravindranath of Doctors Association For Social Equality said, “Businesses re-opening is inevitable. The government is not helping the poor and they have to earn the bread. I urge people to take all precautions and safety measures when stepping out. They need to practice social distancing, handwashing and mask should be used compulsorily and the government must give it free of cost to everyone.”
Balakrishnan, secretary of Tansi Nagar Welfare Association and a former police Sub-Inspector said, “Lockdowns cannot be imposed one after the other. It is unfair and we must learn to live with Covid-19. Majority of the people did not have regular income for two months now and they have bills to pay. The mortality rate of the illness is low and the real threat is how the disease spread. So we must keep in mind the impression that everyone you meet already has Covid-19 and you may also be carrying it. We have to maintain distance from each other and practise good hygiene methods. Avoiding unnecessary trips outside and eating healthy food is vital.”