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‘Opening up will increase cases… It boils down to how we can protect ourselves’

Written by Amil Bhatnagar

Published: June 6, 2020 4:44:33 am

Suhas LY District Magistrate Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate Suhas LY speaks to Amil Bhatnagar on how Noida has kept Covid in check, whether home isolation is being considered, and the challenges of opening up the economy.

Until Tuesday, Gautam Buddh Nagar had reported 543 Covid cases. How do you think Noida has fared in managing the crisis, and what is the strategy in the days to come?

There has been an overwhelming positive response by the public, and measures of social distancing have been maintained vis-a-vis containment zones. Because of this and the efforts of the administration and health department, Noida has one of the lowest mortality rates and a very high recovery rate — eight deaths and 348 recoveries. There is now opening up of the lockdown, and economic activities will resume. We must remember that the number of cases will be inversely proportional to the measures taken. The idea is to look into micro figures rather than overall statistics for a clearer picture.

There’s been a slight uptick in cases since the fourth phase of the lockdown ended. How do you see this?

The last few days have witnessed opening up of economic activities, and naturally we have to be ready for an increase in numbers. It all boils down to how much we can protect ourselves and prevent further spread. There is another aspect — that people are getting tested privately as well, through which cases are being reported. As per ICMR, at least 15 labs are functioning in the NCR region which are aiding identification. Plus health camps are being carried out, and the screening process of those already positive is helping us trace suspected contacts. Further, random sampling is being carried out to identify cases that are beyond the chain of contacts.

Will Noida allow home quarantine for asymptomatic Covid patients?

Presently, there are no guidelines permitting the same. We have enough beds in the government hospitals and the recovery rate is high. Besides, the challenge in that case will be to ensure the person himself is maintaining necessary precautions. This factor can be better ensured when the person is under the supervision of authorities. Contacts of positive patients are allowed to be under home quarantine.

How will the exodus of migrants impact opening up of industries in Gautam Buddh Nagar, since several factories and workshops in the region are labor intensive?

We held an Udyog Bandhu meeting last week, and several issues were taken care of. Most of the apprehensions have been eased out. The identity of Gautam Buddh Nagar is in its industrial output. There is no denying that they are facing challenges. On our part, the policies are clear — they require no passes or special permissions, and they can function properly as the lockdown eases.

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