COVID-19 Pandemic

Chandigarh Admn, MC found wanting

Essentials such as milk, vegetables fail to reach city residents’ doorstep

Sandeep Rana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 25

Though the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation yesterday claimed that they would provide essentials door to door, residents had to face tough time today as vegetables and milk failed to reach most parts of the city.

Even medical stores remained closed while the authorities’ plan of providing medicines on online orders turned out to be a failure.

Residents kept waiting for milk and vegetables vendors in and around their locality, but in a vain. They even called up on the vendors’ phone numbers issued by the MC, but these were either switched off or not picked up.

The Administration had asked the MC at the last hour to prepare a list of vendors, one each for every sector. The corporation released it, along with sector-wise vendors and officials’ contact numbers, in the evening.

In most parts of the city, neither vendors turned up nor they or officials were accessible over phone.

There was also a mixed response when it came to milk supply. At many Verka shops, people stood in long queues waiting for the outlets to open. At some places, people were able to get milk through milkmen.

“No vendor or door-to-door service was provided in Sector 44 and 36. No milk supplies or essentials like bread, vegetables, fruits, etc. were delivered. There is no clarity on the curfew relaxation when they could go out and buy the required stuff,” said a local resident.

“The phone numbers of SDE Ram Singh and JE Jagtar Singh assigned to Sector 36 (zone III) are switched off. When I called up the SDE in the morning, he said the door-to-door service would be done at noon,” added another resident.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, FOSWAC, said, “People had to face tough time in getting essentials. I am hopeful that the situation will become normal in a day or two since it was the only first day of the lockdown. They should depute more vendors per sector.”

On the other hand, a huge stock of vegetables and fruits was lying at the Sector 26 grain market. Several vendors were seen requesting officials to issue them permission slips so that they could sell vegetables in localities. Cops shooed them away.

“Since the police did not allow us to enter the mandi, my vegetables worth Rs 15,000 were taken away by people at night,” rued vendor Mahavir.

“I had kept garlic and chillies here, which are missing now,” said vendor Vimla, claiming that normally, they stay at the mandi.

“It is shocking that the authorities are ill-prepared and the cops are hitting the poor vendors with lathis,” said a local resident at the market.

“The authorities should involve RWAs in distribution of essentials. The phone numbers of vendors given for Mani Majra are not operational. MHC residents are becoming impatient as no vegetable vendor has come yet. Please give pass to those vendors who were already working in this area. Outsiders will not be familiar with the local area,” said Col Gursewak Singh (retd), president, RWA-Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra.

Vinay Jain, president of Chandigarh Chemists Association, said, “We were asked by the Administration to take online orders and deliver at homes. We had opened shops for this purpose. But people flocked to the shops, following which the police got these closed. For online selling, we also need delivery boys, who are not available yet. We had released numbers and got calls from people, but had to express our helplessnes in delivering medicines. We are hopeful that two-hour relaxation for buying medicine will be given soon.”

Jain rued that they were not getting supplies so far as wholesale establishments are closed too.

UT Adviser Manoj Parida called it a teething problem and asked residents to bear with them till tomorrow.

He tweeted, “Test of efficiency of the Chandigarh Administration is not how much convenience we provided to people during the curfew, but how many death or new cases we prevented. Citizens may be angry with us now, they will thank us for strictness later.”

“Just as we were preparing 4-hour sector-wise relaxation in the curfew, came orders for total lockdown at night. We switched over to doorstep delivery. There are teething problems. Please bear with us till tomorrow,” he added.

*No social distancing while buying essentials

It was seen that people failed to keep the necessary one-metre distance while standing in queues for essentials. This will defeat the purpose of lockdown or curfew to save ourselves from Covid-19.

800 senior citizens in trouble

With no domestic help or attendant, 800 senior citizens, who are either couples or alone, are facing huge inconvenience. We have a list of 800

such elderly persons. They are unable to come out and since vendors are not coming, their woes have doubled. We seek the help of the Administration to make essentials available to them on their doorstep. —RK Garg, President of a senior citizens’ body

Get home delivery of medicines

Chandigarh: The UT Administration has released the first list of chemist shops for providing home delivery of medicines. No individual will be allowed to visit any chemist shop for direct purchase of medicines. Residents can only place order telephonically on the nearest chemist shop for delivery of medicines on their doorstep. Those found violating the provision along with the shop owner will face strict legal action. The list has been uploaded on the website of the Chandigarh Administration and can be accessed on the following links:

Busting social media myths

  • There is no evidence to prove that tea can cure Covid-19. Beware of fake remedies spreading on social media that purport to offer ways of combating Covid.
  • Messages are being shared on the social media claiming that the risk of Covid in India has been reduced due to noise produced during the Janata Curfew. Everyone is advised not to get misled and continue to practise social distancing and personal hygiene.
  • The vibration generated by clapping together will not destroy the Covid infection. The Janata Curfew clapping initiative at 5 pm was to express gratitude towards the emergency staff working selflessly to counter Covid.
  • Covid cannot be treated by gargling with warm water mixed with salt and vinegar.
  • The claim that paracetamol can treat Covid-19 is false.
  • Antibiotics do not work against Covid. Since antibiotics only work against bacteria, these can’t be effective in preventing Covid.
  • Claim: If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds without discomfort, you don’t have is false. Most young patients with Covid will be able to hold their breath for more the 10 seconds and many elderly won’t be able to do the same.
  • There is no evidence to prove that Covid survives only for 12 hours.
  • Covid cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. It is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through droplets generated by an infected person on cough, sneeze, saliva or discharge from the nose.
  • The consumption of alcohol prevents the Covid infection is false. Drinking alcohol does not protect you from the Covid infection.

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