More stringent steps likely in Chittoor to curb virus

People throng provisions store to purchase groceries at Thirthakattu street in Tirupati
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People throng provisions store to purchase groceries at Thirthakattu street in Tirupati

Highlights

  • On Friday, the district reported an all-time high of 1,885 cases in which Tirupati and its rural areas account for 1,077 infections
  • Traders are willing for restricted business hours and awaiting official orders

Tirupati: The Covid-19 infections in Chittoor district have reached an all-time high of 1,885 on Friday cautioning the implementation of more stringent containment measures across the district and in the pilgrim city in particular. Tirupati city and rural segments together became a major hotspot for infections by reporting 1,077 positive cases.

There was a strong view among the people that the electioneering and polling in the recent byelection for Tirupati Lok Sabha seat might be the major reasons for this unprecedented spike in cases. It may be noted that the cases have been surging since the beginning of April and crossed 1,000 mark almost on all days during the last 10 days.

After polling was held on April 17 during which thousands of outsiders have reached Tirupati and roamed around the city without any restrictions. Significantly, the district reported more than 1,000 cases since April 19 while Tirupati urban and rural accounted for more than 500 cases.

Though officials have said that the entire Tirupati is under a containment zone, nowhere any containment steps could be seen in the city. So far, officials have not announced any restrictions for people or commercial activities. Though the Municipal Corporation council has decided to close the commercial establishments daily by 7 pm soon, the traders are saying that their views were not taken before taking such a decision.

In fact, they are ready to close the shops by 2 pm or 3 pm and were of the view that closing at 7 pm will yield no results. The steel and cement traders' association president K Hemachandra Reddy has already announced their decision to open their shops from 7 am to 3 pm only. Tirupati Chamber of Commerce president A Manjunath told The Hans India that they have already presented their views to Urban SP in this regard.

He strongly advocated that trading activity should be stopped before 3 pm so that the evening rush could be avoided in the markets. They are trying to meet the Corporation Commissioner also on this.

He added various associations like cloth merchants, jewellery merchants and others have held meetings and are ready to follow restricted business hours.

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