Fear clouds Hongasandra amid coronavirus outbreak

Bengaluru: Fear clouds Hongasandra amid COVID-19 outbreak

Representative image/Pixabay Image

As their locality reported Covid-19 cases, residents of Jyothi Nagar in Hongasandra are in a state of panic.

The residents have resigned to the sequestering after their slum, with just one exit, has been sealed with police barricade. Though reporters were not allowed inside the barricade, a steady stream of residents were seen approaching the barricade to get out of the sealed zone.

But the Begur station police returning from the quarantined zone said residents were self-isolating at home out of fear. “There is hardly anyone on the streets,” said a police constable. “The place looks empty.”

A middle-aged person, riding a scooter, asked the police to let him out of the barricade to buy a pill at a medical store in Viratnagar two kilometers away. When the police asked him what sort of medication he wanted to buy, the man said he wanted a single paracetamol, which forced the police to turn him back home. The police pointed out to DH that there was a pharmacy just round the corner.

“We have to deal with such cases all day long. People have been approaching the barricade on different pretexts,” one of the two constables manning the barricade said.

An individual who wanted to get out told the police that he was a pizza delivery boy and his boss wanted him to make a delivery.

Despite such incidents, some residents inside the sealed-off zone expressed happiness over the police closing off their area to prevent coronavirus from spreading. “They have done this for the larger good,” said 41-year-old Anand, who has been residing in the area for nearly 24 years. “I’m fine by the decision.”

Asked if he was afraid that the disease would spread rapidly in the heavily congested area as it did in Padarayanapura, Anand said: “I’m not scared. If we allow fear to enter, that’ll be the end of us.”