After reporting its first COVID-19 case on 30 January, India has been witnessing rapid growth in the infection’s spread over the past few months. With close to 4,60,000 cases so far, India is now among the most-affected countries by the deadly virus. Several regions across the country have been reporting sharp spikes in the cases; a trend that many experts believe is likely to accentuate in the coming weeks. The trend seems to have gripped Vizag too; albeit in a relatively less severe form when compared to other cities. Vizag district, which reported its first case in mid-March, has zoomed past the 500-mark rather quickly. 46 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday have seen the district tally grow to 530 with clusters like Appughar, Jalaripeta, Anakapalle, and Dandu Bazar taking turns as the major hotspots.
On 19 March, the city registered its first COVID-19 case when an elderly man, who returned from Saudi Arabia, tested positive for the virus. By the month-end, the total number of cases in the district grew to 10. April, despite the Tablighi Jamaat links creating a scare, saw the figures grow by only 14 new cases; a number that might seem to be a paltry one in the hindsight. As Vizag entered May, the district accounted for a total of 24 COVID-19 cases and was among the better-off districts in the state. However, the following days saw the cases increase by a considerable margin. By 31 May, the district tally went up to 113, marking 89 cases for the month.
June brought no good news either as the cases have multiplied almost fourfold. While the preceding three months reported 113 cases together, June alone has recorded as many as 417 cases so far. From the easing of travel restrictions to the public taking to the streets as part of unlocking to the occurrence of the infection in closely packed residential areas- several reasons are likely to have caused a pronounced spike in cases. The death toll too, increased by 3 in the ongoing month.
The month-wise breakup of COVID-19 cases in Vizag district:
June: 417 (until 23 June 2020)
With the record-breaking spree of COVID-19 cases calling for dire measures, district authorities in Vizag have been stepping up their efforts in order to contain the spread. Conducting door-to-door surveys, intensifying testing in high-risk zones, sanitising containment clusters, and raising awareness among the public have been among the district administration’s arsenal to fight the COVID-19 pandemic locally.
Coming to the recoveries in Vizag, while close to 84% of the patients were discharged after recovering from COVID-19 in April, the percentage has dipped with the cases increasing in May and June. As on Tuesday (23 June), Vizag reported 223 discharges as compared to 303 active cases.
As Vizag braces to witness a further increase in COVID-19 cases, experts reiterate the importance of following safety precautions to minimise the risk of contracting the virus. Time and again, the citizens have been advised to venture out of homes only for essential purposes and not let their guard down, in what seems to be a long battle.