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Hyderabad public remain oblivious to Covid -19 threat

Hyderabad public remain oblivious to Covid -19 threat
Hordes of people are spotted at laad bazaar, Charminar on Thursday. Photo: Mohammed Hussain

Nihad Amani and Mohammed Hussain

Hyderabad: The Telangana government is taking necessary precautions to contain the spread of dreaded coronavirus but the public seems to say, “baigan ku bolo” and going around its routine as if the disaster is unfolding somewhere else.

The bustling bazaars in the city are doing as well as they ordinarily do, maybe a little less here or a little less there. But the care-a-hang attitude is clearly visible in markets.

A team of siasat.com reporters took a sample round of the city from around 12-00 noon to about 3-00 in the afternoon. What they discovered has beaten their sense of ‘normal.’  “Sir we never expected this.  There are people all over the places we visited. They do not seem to be worried about the coronavirus death toll rising to four in India and new cases of possibly affected persons rising in Hyderabad or Telangana for that matter,” the team of reporters said.

Here is their report:

The citizens are seen enjoying the holidays and shopping around on the streets. It’s difficult to witness their ‘I don’t care’ attitude when it comes to taking preventive measures.

Hordes of people are spotted in shopping malls, laad bazaar, restaurants  and supermarkets.

The popular term ‘baigan ko bolo’ was heard on asking the vendors at Charminar about their face masks, use of sanitisers and coronavirus.

Small business owners stated that they would face great losses and may even lose their livelihood if they do not come out of their homes and do business as usual. As a result, they are not closing their shops. When asked them about preventive measures everyone is talking about they said,‘ Kuch bhi nahi hota saab(nothing will happen, sir).’

According to government instruction, shopping malls should remain closed. But in reality, the story is different. Shopping malls and supermarkets like Big Bazaar, Ratnadeep, Reliance Smart, Brand Factory, Jagdesh Market and Laad Bazaar are attracting public as usual. None among the shoppers or the people on the streets appear to be caring to take any protective measures like use of sanitizers or wearing face masks.

Shaheen Ather who was shopping at Laad Bazaar stated, “I have my brother’s wedding and I cannot stop from shopping.”

People are seen on streets enjoying the arrival of kairi (raw mangoes), ice golas and chuskis of chai on the streets and in small and big restaurants.

We were shocked to see the markets and shopping centres flooded with people as on holidays. Women are enjoying shopping and during small breaks, they are eating street food. One would think there would at least a break on eating items fried on the streets. There was none.

Razia Banu, a teacher, said, “I hardly get to shop because of my busy schedule. This place (a shopping mall near her home) is safer. It attracted me get out and do some shopping. I don’t have the habit of wearing masks and hence I forgot.”

A group of men and women moving out of the Taj Mahal hotel, Abids, said, “We are out just for breakfast as we had a get together after a pretty long time.”

“It is due to the illiteracy and lack of habit to read newspapers that these people are so unaware of this death taking disease. It has created scare all over the world but we in Hyderabad are blissfully unaware of it,” says Dr. Adil Ayoob.

As a result of holidays and cancellation of examination, the children are seen playing on the streets, riding bicycles, lathus (tops), and cricket. They are having a ball of a time.

The government and the voluntary organizations have come together to create awareness among the public and push them back home.  They should also implement the closing of markets for a while, several people said. 

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