A press conference, on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) control and prevention, was held at the VMRDA Children’s Arena on Friday. This was convened by the Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand (IAS). The Collector also reviewed several committees on various aspects of coronavirus control and prevention. Speaking at the meeting, he informed to facilitate home delivery of essential goods in Visakhapatnam.
Grocery stores like Reliance, Big Basket, More, Heritage Spencers, Eco Agri and others have been roped in to facilitate home delivery of essential goods. “People are not practising social distancing and are crowding rythu bazaars. As the existing 14 rythu bazaars are overcrowded, 34 additional bazaars have been set up at municipal school grounds, Bullaya College, Andhra University, and engineering colleges. Efforts are being made to add a few more rythu bazaars. It is imperative that people have to follow social distancing while procuring groceries.” He also reiterated that while there are no curbs on the sale of essential goods, shops would be kept open only from 6 AM to 1 PM. However, it may be noted that medical stores and emergency pharmacies are will remain functional for the public with no restrictions on timings.
The Collector also stated that there would be no difficulty in ensuring the supply of essential goods and pharma products. He said measures would be taken to sell fish in the rythu bazaars as per the required protocol.
At yesterday’s video conference, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police (DGP) have said sanitation, electricity, freshwater, drainage, and personnel’s vehicles have been granted access. The Collector instructed the GVMC Commissioner that those who are on footpaths are to be moved to the GVMC Night Shelter. Food and shelter will be provided at this facility.
He mentioned that there are 4 cases of COVID-19 positive in the Visakhapatnam District. Out of the 112 samples sent 4 were positive, 96 were negative, 10 cases were reported and 2 samples were sent again. At the field level, 579 surveillance teams examined 46,976 families. The Collector said that the State Government has decided to set up VIMS Hospital as a State-level COVID-19 hospital, which will cater to critical cases of COVID-19 from Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari District. He stressed that hospitals must maintain sanitation and cleanliness. Every item in the hospitals should be used as per the protocol system from beginning to till the end. Proper medical care, and provision of clean food, for those in isolation must be ensured.
Mr.Chand said that 500 beds would be set up with incubation and ventilation facilities for aged people. The Chest Hospital, GITAM Medical Hospital and NRI Hospital would act as district COVID-19 hospitals. Critical cases will be referred to at VIMS Hospital. The Collector informed that the patients in quarantine at VIMS Hospital have been moved to Gayatri Medical College. The Collector also stated that 3,550 quarantine beds were set up at these hospitals.
He stated that the “sanitary staff should be provided with personal masks, gloves and other items for personal protection”. Rapid Response Teams have been set up, Zonal level ANMs, Asha workers and paramedical personnel in the field will be given training. These teams would visit every home and look out for COVID-19 symptoms. He said steps would be taken to set up dialysis centres for dialysis patients. Employees on duty will be provided with identity cards. The meeting was attended by District Joint Collectors, L Sivashankar and Venugopal Reddy, GVMC Commissioner, G Srijana, Paderu Sub Collector, Venkateshwar, and other district officials.