COVID call centre at GHMC headquarters not very active
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has stopped updating the details of COVID-19 infection on its website even as cases are spiralling by the day in the city.
The data displayed on the website have remained unchanged for several days, though the Health bulletins have kept updating the numbers all the while.
The authorities had begun to update the case details on the website after receiving a rap from the High Court last year, when COVID-19 infections were rampant. The High Court had pulled up the State government accusing it of deliberately hiding information, and issued orders for detailed daily reports and display of the numbers on the civic body’s website.
GHMC had complied with the orders, but while municipal corporations elsewhere displayed the numbers containment zone wise, GHMC chose to merely mention each case separately along with the location, not bothering to collate the data circle wise or zone wise. Now, even this exercise has stopped.
As per the Health department’s report, a total of 2,960 cases have been recorded in GHMC purview during the one week ending April 13.
During the first wave of COVID-19 last year, GHMC had played a key role in maintaining containment zones, disinfecting localities, and tracking the contacts of COVID patients to get them tested and hospitalised. This time round, however, the alacrity is markedly missing. COVID-19 call centre set up at GHMC headquarters has not been very active, and on holidays, it is seen almost empty.
Though officials are maintaining that required measures are being taken wherever COVID clusters have been discovered, reports from ground speak differently.
“Our apartment complex has three known positive cases. Some others have isolated themselves, though they are not forthcoming to share the information. Authorities must be having their address and other details, as Aadhaar ID is being collected with each test. So far, no GHMC official or personnel has visited our complex,” says a resident from Musheerabad, pleading anonymity.
Officials, however, say that they are regularly in receipt of information about fresh cases from the Health department, and disinfection procedures are being carried out in the surrounding areas.
“Instead of jetting machines like earlier, we are using knapsack sprayers to sanitise specific surfaces people are likely to come in contact with. Unlike earlier, when about 40 to 50 homes were covered, we are sanitising four to five households around the infected area, because we are better informed now about how the disease spreads,” an official informed. About 17 to 18 disinfection teams have been formed per zone, depending on the number of cases, he said.
Though no official/written orders have come, field level GHMC officials are said to have received oral instructions from Commissioner D.S. Lokesh Kumar to mark containment zones wherever a cluster of cases have surfaced. The Commissioner, however, was not available for comment.
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