At a time when the country is going through an unprecedented second wave of the Wuhan coronavirus, one would expect people to maintain social distancing and follow Covid norms with the majority of the states in some form of lockdown. A shocking incident has come to light when a huge crowd seemingly bereft of Covid norms has gathered at Charminar to indulge in Eid shopping which can put Hyderabad on the cusp of a Covid boom. This is not an isolated incident as a Priests retreat in Kerala’s Munnar and a women’s march to a local temple Gujarat’s Sanand has managed to spark national outrage.
India Today Executive Director Shiv Aroor took to Twitter to post a shocking visual where large crowds can be seen flocking the markets at Charminar, old Hyderabad on the eve of Eid as they collectively violated almost every Covid-19 norm. Forget social distancing, in the video many people can be seen roaming without masks.
The Telangana High Court concerned about the rising Covid cases ordered the TRS led Telangana government to take solid steps to contain the spread of the virus and conduct over 1 lakh tests a day till the situation subsides.
The bench said, “Our instructions to the government for the last several weeks to show some heed and to increase Covid testing have been like water off a duck’s back. The government is continuously reducing testing since the last week from 92,000 to 70,000. This automatically shows a decrease in the number of infected persons. By that, you are saying there is a fall in Covid cases. This is not correct.”
Recently, after attending a retreat at Munnar, 100 Church of South India (CSI) priests were reportedly infected with Covid-19. Unfortunately, out of the infected lot, two of the priests passed away with five others are reportedly in a serious condition.
Jacob Mathew, secretary of Church of South India Trust Association and member of the Joint Christian Council alleged, “The annual retreats of Central Kerala diocese and Kochi diocese were also scheduled last month and they were postponed due to a surge in Covid cases. But CSI South Kerala held the retreat secretly at Munnar without informing the government. As per the government instructions, only 50 people are allowed in a conference. But here all safety guidelines went for a toss.”
Meanwhile, in Gujarat’s Sanand, scores of women gathered violating the strict Covid norms in the state to offer prayers at the Baliyadev temple which could spell trouble for Ahmedabad which is already reeling from the rapidly rising cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.
It is unfortunate no lessons were learnt from the ill-conceived Kumbh Mela as people from across communities and places continue to indulge in mass gatherings.