People crowding fair price shops for collection of rations free of cost and jobless migrant workers marching on way back their homes ignoring the social distancing norms have increased the risk of the spread of coronavirus infection, feared officials and health workers on Sunday.
Kota District Supply Officer Surendra Rathore said various fair price shops of the government were slated to start the distribution of ration from 2pm on Sunday amid the presence of police to control the crowd and make people stick to the social distancing norm.
But people in several places in the city began crowding ration shops since early morning itself, ignoring the social distancing norm, accentuating the risk of the spread of the virus, he said.
Several places in Hadouti area, ration dealers began distribution of wheat from 10 am itself, Circle Inspector Laxman Singh of Jhalwar police station said. This obviously has led to the increase of the risk of contamination, he said.
Singh, however, added that the policemen in his area are taking up strict measures to ensure one meter distance among the people queuing up before rations shops.
Meanwhile, groups of migrant workers pouring into Kota and other cities in the state have further led to the rise of the risk, said medical workers.
A group of around 20 migrant workers, including Ramesh and his brother, who worked in a textile unit in Ahmedabad, was spotted heading to their village Talera in Bundi district.
They had reached Bundi, covering the entire distance from Ahmedabad on foot, said Ramesh, adding none of the members of his group was screened anywhere on the way.
Another youth of a separate group on the same road had reached Bundi from Neemuch city in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday morning and were heading to Swaimadhopur to travel to Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
They are natives of Agra district, but had somehow reached Bundi and were now heading to Swaimadhopur with the hope of getting some transport to Agra, a member of the group said. The group members said they too were not medically examined or screened anywhere on their way.
"Social distancing has totally flopped in last two days. It is unfortunate that the social distancing norm, the only hope to break the chain of infection, is being practised," a medical officer said on condition of anonymity.
"The queues at registration counters, ration shops, grocery shops and gatherings in vegetable markets are still present. It is raising the risk whole community getting infected with coronavirus," the medical officer feared.