Hyderabad: With the nation in the midst of a complete lockdown, the state governments are providing food, ration, disbursing cash along with other essential services to citizens, and upholding safety by enforcing lockdown norms that restrict out and about movement. However, while providing these services to the people government officials, police officers, civic body authorities, and other higher officials themselves are not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Political activist SQ Masood said, “Though the government official is being recognized as a part of the essential services they still are not exempt from social distancing. Yet, the police personnel and ministers who inspect and help distribute food respectively are themselves are not following norms of social distancing. Though they wear face mask and gloves but not completely they keep the mask till the neck so that they can appear in the images and doing it just for the optics.”
Although the government officials are increasingly growing frustrated with people who are not adhering to ‘social distancing’ guidelines. They are warning and issuing hefty fines on individuals and seizing supermarkets due to crowded public places being responsible for the coronavirus spread.
Recently the Enforcement Vigilance & Disaster Management (EV &DM), a wing of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have seized two supermarkets include DMart and Ratnadeep for violating the social norms.
The police and GHMC officials have warned that cases would be registered against the NGOs and food distributing groups to whoever breaks the guidelines of social distancing. The GHMC and all three police commissionerates Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda issued an advisory regarding NGOs and social groups that will be booked under the law of 188 Indian Penal Code (IPC), section 3 of Epidemic disease act and section 51 clause B of Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Masood added that there is no vaccine for Coronavirus and that the only option left is social distancing and lockdown. He stressed that they should ensure that these guidelines are implemented in themselves and only then will citizens follow suit.
Also, when a media person travels to cover COVID-19 related incidents with a cameraman, they are being stopped at police checkpoints. On the other hand, police patrolling bike carrying two officers is automatically let through with no question.
Media persons who go on the field to report live or to gather information about the COVID-19 cases in the respective areas are being stopped by the police and asked not to travel two members on each vehicle. Whereas, , a police patrolling bike carrying two officers is automatically let through with no question
Fines are also being issued by the Hyderabad Traffic Police to media saying that they have disobeyed the lockdown guidelines. Plus, the press’ vehicles are also being plied.
An incident reported with the practicing journalist of The Siasat Daily siasat.com while he was on the field carrying his camera on his back and the Gopalpuram traffic police has captured a photo and issued a challan of Rs. 600 that read “Disobedience of orders Restriction on plying of vehicles”.
“The journalist goes round the clock to cover COVID-19 pandemic, police, and minister inspecting the city but when it comes to social distancing they don’t really follow it, said an advocate, MA Azeem.