Angul: Covid-19 cases have been on the rise in Angul district and this has been ascribed to the police administration being lenient towards Covid violators during lockdown.
Pandemic-induced lockdown is underway in the state since May 5. There are weekend shutdowns as well. A relaxation of some hours has been given for people to buy essentials. At the same time, the government has asked them to go to shops and markets within walking distance.
These guidelines were seen flouted with impunity in Angul town Friday.
Ahead of weekend shutdown, people thronged all most all the markets, specifically fish markets in the town Friday. People were seen pushing each other to buy fish at shops. While none seemed to be careful about maintaining social distance, many were seen wearing masks improperly.
Some town dwellers alleged that there were cops on duty in fish markets but they were looking the other ways.
“If the district and police administrations don’t take stringent action against the Covid violators, the situation will go from bad to worse in coming days,” rued Shantanu Kumar Sar, an educationist.
According to some town residents, the police department has been short handed since many cops are presently undergoing treatment for Covid-19. This is the reason the police department is not able to perform up to expectation. Taking this advantage, Covid violators were seen fearlessly roaming around the city riding bikes.
When contacted, Angul SP, Jagmohan Meena said they are taking action against the violators. Fines are being collected from them. We have not been shorthanded. Angul town police will be asked to conduct raids more frequently in markets.
Sub-Collector, Angul, Basudev Satpathy said the violators are being fined and made aware of Covid rules and their importance. Yet, reports of markets being overcrowded are arriving. Soon there will be a meeting involving administrative and police officials to find a way out. There will be a magistrate accompanied with policemen at each and every square to deal with Covid violators.
Notably, Angul Saturday reported 515 new cases. With this the district’s caseload has gone up to 31, 998, with 6, 659 active cases.