NGO wants lockdown reimposed in areas with growing corona cases

Hyderabad: There has been a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the GHMC limits, particularly in the South Zone and western parts of the city post unlock 1.0. Hence, the city-based NGO Helping Hand Foundation (HHF), a public health NGO and advocacy group, appealed to KCR to impose an immediate curfew in Old City and the west zone for a minimum of three to four weeks. 

Meanwhile, according to the state public health and family welfare department, on 24 June 719 fresh cases and five deaths were reported in the GHMC limits. With this, the Telangana State has till now reported 10, 444 positive cases, 5, 858 active cases and 225 have succumbed due to COVID-19. 

According to the reports, the GHMC Charminar Zone (South Zone) reported more than 630 COVID-19 positive cases. Around 567 cases are active and 516 are containment houses. 

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a GHMC official said, “The Charminar circle 9 has recorded a large number of cases around 187 positive cases and 142 containment homes while Malakpet circle 6 remains with 143 cases and 123 containment homes”. 

While other circles in the South Zone has fewer cases, Santosh Nagar circle-6 has 95 positive cases and 76 containment houses, and Falaknuma circle-10 remains with 89 cases plus containment houses. The Chandrayangutta circle-8 has reported 72 cases and 46 containment houses, while the Rajendranagar circle-11 has reported 44 cases and 40 containment houses. 

Moreover, the spread of the disease is rampant while 85 per cent plus cases are asymptomatic with mild diseases but 15 per cent are symptomatic requiring hospitalization. Though, five per cent within this are turning critical. A large section of suspected cases are not getting tested, fearing a trip to government hospitals. They cannot afford expensive private health care.

Hence, they are seeking treatment from local clinics as well as physicians and are being taken to hospitals in the last minute as they are in critical conditions.

Lack of facilities

Shortness of breadth as well as falling oxygen levels (desaturation) is the common complaint. One in three above the age of 45 years in Old City has one or more of these ailments: diabetes, hypertension, and etc. This makes them a highly vulnerable group.

“As a result of these cases, fatalities are higher than what is being made official because they are not being tested for SAR-COV2. Presently, private hospitals treating COVID-19 are running full capacity and are inaccessible to middle class and weaker sections,” said Mr. Mujtaba Hasan Askari of HHF.

He also stated that there is no information publicly available through a Control Room/Helpline system to inform the public about availability. Hundreds of patients are scouting for hospital beds in the private sector and are losing precious time. Gandhi Hospital’s nodal centre is only taking positive patients and emergency cases.

Due to a ramp up in testing across general population, the waiting time for results is delaying admission and treatment. For those who are in home isolation care, there is an acute shortage of oxygen supply in the city.

The NGO further appealed to the state government to ramp up beds with central line oxygen supplies in government hospitals and capacity mainly in the Old City area to impose a 24 hour curfew in those zones. 

HHF sent a repression letter to the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary and requested those with authority and influence to get the government to take notice of this.

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