Commandos Cordon Off Kerala Fishing Town Labelled Covid-19 ‘Epicentre’
Kerala Special Armed Authorities task forces march through Poonthura location in Thiruvananthapuram district, called a Covid-19 ‘extremely spreader’ hub
Picture by V.V. Biju/Outlook
For near two days, the busy coastal hamlet of Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram district has worn a deserted appearance as a detachment of commandos from Kerala’s Unique Armed Police (SAP) patrol the streets in the most remarkable scenes of Covid-19 protocol enforcement in the continuous week-long ‘triple lockdown’ imposed on the district.
The fishing village, positioned 12 km south of the state capital, is being identified a localised ‘epicentre’ with some 119 samples out of 600 swabs collected from the area testing positive over the previous week. Health officials have actually warned that Poonthura might be an emerging cluster break out in the state, with 120 main contacts attributed to one client, if stringent containment steps are not implemented.
The regional media has reported that three wards in Poonthura have actually been designated vital containment areas and cordoned off while five wards acting as buffer zones.
Teams of health employees are disinfecting homes in the densely-populated village. “Poonathura is among the tightly-clustered localities in the city and is house to mainly low income families. Most of the locals remain in leased houses that cover about one cent (about 40 sq. m.) and need to work for their food. For them, house quarantine was never ever going to be an alternative even given the severity of coronavirus. The commandos are required to enforce the lockdown,” stated Sherly J, a former ward councillor.
Rationalising using commandos, state tourist minister Kadakampally Surendran, who has actually been tasked with managing the district’s pandemic control activities, called the area a ‘super spreader’ center. “There has not been such a rapid spread of the disease in any other nearby area,” he stated. Ahead of the ‘triple lockdown’ coming into force on Monday, Surendran had the state was “sitting on an active volcano” with neighborhood transmission appearing to look almost certain.