COVID-19 casualties crossed the 1,000-mark on Tuesday, leading to a tense atmosphere all over Chittoor district. The district has recorded the highest number of casualties in the State.
The prime reason for the alarming death rate is largely attributed to continuous influx of people from the neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The district also leads the number of positive cases with a daily average of 2,500 since a week. On Tuesday, the number of positive cases was 2,318.
Personnel of the COVID Task Force maintain that the sudden spike in positive cases and casualties has impacted the psyche of the public. Though people used to move around freely, often without face masks, in Chittoor and Tirupati corporations and the six municipalities of Madanapalle, Punganur, Palamaner, Puttur, Nagari and Srikalahasti, in the initial days of the second wave, the situation is quite different since a week.
With more than 80% of the people seen with face masks, their movement has also drastically come down from noon. While many households are preferring to go to the vegetable market once a week, meat shops are not seeing many customers.
The district administration has instructed the medical and health wing to give priority to triaging centres to tackle the growing casualties from home isolation. Though the officials have embarked on setting up triage centres at all community hospitals, some medical and paramedical staff are reportedly expressing their unwillingness to take up additional work.
The COVID Care Centres too are hit by shortage of staff in many areas, the officials said. For instance, last week a COVID Care Centre had come up to address the problem of emerging positive cases. However, its operation still lingers in a dilemma with several key staff not willing to join the unit.
Meanwhile, apart from the highways and public roads in towns, the COVID fear has gripped lanes and bylanes, which are deserted with growing number of positive cases. The vegetable markets arranged in open areas at various places too are deserted.