No respite from Covid infections in Chittoor

Devotees in the packed queue lines at Kanipakam temple in Chittoor district on Sunday.
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Devotees in the packed queue lines at Kanipakam temple in Chittoor district on Sunday.

Highlights

  • Though the numbers have reduced from June to July, the district still registering around 300 daily cases standing at second place in the state
  • Increasing pilgrimage and economic activity and absence of Covid-appropriate behaviour are causing concern ahead of the third wave

Tirupati: Chittoor district could not find any respite from the Covid infections though the daily numbers have fallen in July when compared with the previous month. It has been maintaining its position at the second place among other districts in the state in terms of daily Covid cases almost continuously.

In the last two months, the district recorded a high of 1,728 cases on June 4 while the lowest of 220 cases were reported on July 27. It witnessed 10,923 infections in July as against 27,827 in the previous month. While other districts have been reporting less than 200 cases now, Chittoor is finding it difficult to improve its position further and standing next only to East Godavari.

Till now, it has 2,31,375 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic while the active cases stand at 3,163 as of August 1. However, the district continues to top the Covid death toll with 1,738 deaths as per official records though the actual numbers were said to be even more than that. It is followed by East Godavari accounts with 1,215 fatalities.

When the Covid cases have been gradually increasing in other parts of the country amid fears of a third wave, Chittoor district may not witness any solace as the economic and spiritual activities have resumed and are going on swiftly. Even the movie theatres were open now. The three main temples in the district – Tirumala, Srikalahasti and Kanipakam apart from various others have been witnessing increased activity where physical distancing has gone for a toss.

A senior Vigilance and Security official of TTD lamented that the devotees were not even wearing proper masks. As the TTD has increased the daily quota of tickets, the number of devotees will go up which is causing concern. He appealed to all those visiting Tirumala to strictly adhere to the Covid norms to avoid further spread of the Covid infections.

The situation in other temples is not different from this where the officials have been facing a tough task in educating the devotees.

Markets, malls and other places were also witnessing a good number of people raising concerns over safety. Recently, Tirupati Corporation Commissioner P S Girisha has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on a shopping mall for blatant violation of Covid norms though similar situations could be found in several other business establishments.

One official commented that the positivity rate has been more than five in several mandals which send warning signals. Though the vaccination drive has been going on swiftly, the youth in 18-35 age group could not get a chance yet. Unless people strictly follow the Covid appropriate behaviour, the district may not find any solace in the coming days.

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