Taking precautionary measures, to effectively tackle the third wave of the pandemic in Visakhapatnam, the district officials have prepared a detailed plan. For the next 20-25 days, Visakhapatnam Police have decided to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus, especially in busy areas and marketplaces. Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand IAS, observed that currently the positivity rate, in the city, has been hovering around 3-4 percent with 170-200 cases being recorded on a daily basis.
In a bid to lower the Covid-19 positivity rate to 1 percent, the District Collector advised the citizens of Vizag to always wear a mask when outside, maintain social distance and limit the number of guests for any event to not more than 50. At any organisation, or commercial establishment, it is the responsibility of the owners to make sure that the people wear masks. If anyone violates norms, strict fines will be imposed starting from Rs 10,000-Rs 25,000. If any commercial establishments and malls are found violating these norms, despite the warning, the district officials will close their business for a few days.
District Collector Vinay Chand also said that the number of Covid-19 testing centres would be increased depending on the severity of Covid-19 cases in village/ward sachivalayams. According to sources, 75 percent of people above 45 years of age in the city have been vaccinated. Currently, a vaccination drive is being conducted for pregnant women, mothers with children below 5 years of age and teachers.
While the situation at district hospitals has subsided, compared to the earlier months with very few cases being reported, the District Collector advised all the hospitals in Visakhapatnam to increase their bed strength ahead of the third wave. A total of 4,750 oxygen beds, and 1389 ICU beds, are being added to hospitals in the district, in addition to the current bed strength. Keeping in view the difficulties faced during the first and second wave, the District Collector said that the hospitals are being prepared for the third wave. This is in order to keep the situation under control if, and when, the third wave hits the city.
With a total of eight different entrances for the RK Beach Road, city police have deployed police teams at multiple locations to check whether people entering the beach are wearing masks. Those who violate norms will be levied a fine of Rs 100 and will not be allowed to enter the beach. In the last few days, the city police have been seen imposing fines on two-wheeler drivers who are travelling without wearing masks and helmets. At major junctions such as Siripuram, RTC Complex, Satyam Junction, Maddilapalem, MVP, NAD X Roads and Gajuwaka, traffic police teams are seen clicking photos and imposing fines on those who are not wearing a mask.
According to City Police Commissioner, Manish Kumar Sinha IPS, at least 2,000 cases are being booked in the city everyday on people who are not wearing masks when outside.
Under GVMC limits, a total of 26 teams have been deployed to conduct surprise checks at tourist places and busy areas in the city. With a total of 17 fish markets located in the city, special focus has been placed on markets; especially on days when there are huge sales of meat.