Confusion prevailed in Vijayawada on Tuesday night as orders were issued for the city to go into lockdown again for a week, starting from Friday, June 26. However, within a span of one hour, the orders were withdrawn.
Krishna district Collector Md Imtiaz had announced the decision in light of the rising COVID-19 infections in the district, particularly in Vijayawada. He requested people to purchase essential commodities in the next two days (June 24 and 25), in preparation for the week-long lockdown.
Other than essential services, all private and government offices will have to adhere to the lockdown. Other than medical shops and a few stores selling essential commodities, all other establishments will have to remain closed for the entire week, Collector Md Imtiaz said.
However, within an hour, he said that the present situation would continue and fresh orders would be issued in this regard, thereby nullifying his earlier order for a lockdown.
Noting that COVID-19 has spread beyond Vijayawada, into rural parts of the district as well, the Collector said that stern measures will be needed across the district. The norms for non-containment zones will be decided by the concerned Sub-Collectors and RDOs (Revenue Divisional Officers), he said.
Krishna district is one of the worst-affected districts in Andhra Pradesh. As of Tuesday, the district has the third highest number of active COVID-19 patients (549), next only to Anantapur (621) and Kurnool (592). While most cases were initially concentrated in Vijayawada, patients are now being detected in the peripheral semi-rural and rural areas as well.
The district has also recorded the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths, with 40 people succumbing to the disease. This puts the mortality rate in the district at 3.65%.
On Sunday, the stateās Special Chief Secretary (Health) Jawahar Reddy noted that since the lockdown was lifted, Andhra has registered an average of 230 cases in a day. This is much higher than the daily average of 54 cases during the 68-day lockdown period, he noted.
Recently, Ongole town in Prakasam district was placed under total lockdown, while Anantapur was placed under partial lockdown. Authorities in Ongole decided to stop APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation) bus services entering the town, while Anantapur decided to continue services.