Telangana’s DGP had said that people over 60 must dial 100 even if they required groceries, and must not step out of their homes.

Senior residents are more at risk of COVID19 infectionImage For Representation
news Lockdown Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 07:55

With the Telangana government advising citizens over 60 to stay indoors and avoid stepping out even for essentials amid the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, some say that it is impractical as they don't have a choice.

The government issued the advisory as it said that the elderly were more prone to contracting the novel coronavirus. 

VB Shankar, a 73-year-old from Sainikpuri in Secunderabad says that areas such as Sainikpuri and Vayupuri have a large number of residents over the age of 60, and many of them stay alone.

Pointing out that many of their children live abroad, he says, "Many people live in independent houses or bungalows, so physical distancing is not an issue here. All requirements of fresh vegetables, kitchen provisions and medicines are available in a less than 1-km radius, and one goes out for about an hour, twice a week, to pick up requirements. This should be allowed."

Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) M Mahender Reddy had tweeted that the elderly are advised to stay at home and should not even step out for essentials.

“If the elderly are living alone, then they can 'Dial-100', the Telangana police's emergency response number, for any help,” he had said.

However, senior citizens question how they can depend on 'Dial 100' for small but essential requirements.

"In case of an emergency, we can 'Dial 100' and then the police would also understand and respond to us. However there would be several small issues that we need to independently take care of, like buying essentials," said another senior citizen from Malkajgiri, who stays with his wife.

"We are not even acquainted with the usage of technology to order online. We can't bother neighbours too. We are not even interacting much with anyone these days, so we have to deal with such issues on our own," he added.

He also argued that the movement of the elderly should not be restricted if they were taking precautions like wearing masks and gloves.

When asked if any special arrangements were made for the elderly  who were staying alone, an official of the Telangana police said, “Though there are no separate arrangements made for the supply of groceries, upon dialling '100', a patrol vehicle would be available for them, be it for medical emergencies or getting them medicines and if needed, groceries too."