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The second Covid-19 wave in the country is known for its potential to quickly spread in a community and infect a large section of the local population. Due to the fast spreading nature and to control the mounting number of fresh infections, the State government had imposed lockdown across Telangana.

However, there is a clear risk of the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 to proliferate unchecked if people fail in taking precautions between the lockdown relaxation hours between 6 am and 10 am. The relaxation period in the early hours to enable households procure essential goods but has now become a cause of concern for health officials, who point out that the gains made during the lockdown could be easily wiped out during the relaxation time.

“Last year’s lockdown was complete and successful because the authorities were able to break the transmission chains effectively. This year, the authorities have allowed business establishments to operate between 6 am and 10 am. As a result, the markets are packed everywhere,” says senior High Court advocate, Ramesh Kuthumbaka.

The relaxation window from 6 am to 10 am is meant only to make purchases that are most important for a household. “We have received reports that large number of individuals are unnecessarily venturing out during the relaxation time. We are opening up for four hours to enable people buy essential groceries for households. There will be no use of staying indoors for 20 hours if we visit places of mass gatherings in the remaining four hours. Only one individual from a family must go out during relaxation,” says Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao.

There is also a rush among people to buy alcohol, which is resulting in crowds outside wine shops in Hyderabad. A similar rush is also visible outside hardware and electrical shops that sell construction equipment and material in retail and wholesale.

“The virus spreads very quickly and infects a lot of people during the second wave. Even the outcomes or prognosis of the infected is different from one individual to another. The second phase is very different, and I urge people in Hyderabad not to underestimate it,” says Superintendent, Osmania General Hospital (OGH) Dr B Nagender.




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