Hyderabad: A 50 year-old from Saroornagar- Hyderabad, fell ill on the 17th of April, he was running high temperature accompanied with cough. The man, assuming no threat, popped in a Dolo 650 mg. Three days later, the family rushed him to Jeevan Sai hospital in Vanasthalipurm, where his samples were collected.

Best known to the hospital authorities, the man with COVID like symptoms was shifted to OMINI hospital in Kothapet, but dint receive treatment. The latter, on the same day, was moved to NIMS hospital and against the tall claims of the government of handing the pandemic well, no treatment was rendered. He was referred to Yashodha Hospital at Somajiguda. After shifting four city hospitals which reflect the alarming exposure , the man is now tested COVID positive.

Following his medical reports, 16 people, including family, three employees, house owner, neighbours, the doctor who treated him and a auto driver have been quarantined, informed Saroor nagar police inspector.

This case stands apart, because the COVID infected, is an trader and owns a  ground nut store at Malakpet’s gunj, one of Hyderabad’s  busiest whole-sale and retail grocery markets. On any average day, the market witnesses a footfall of not less than 1500 customers, minus the traders and out-sourcing employees. But, since the gunj was falling under the essential services, the hub with more than 600 shops, many as small as 25 X 25 feet by area, was kept open to public, until April 30th.

Meanwhile, Chaderghat police said that two other businessmen,  owning stores in Malakpet ganj,  tested positive. They include a wholesale dealer in sugar and a onion store owner, residing in Uppal. In what has shocked the health department is, the trio have no travel history nor they are primary/ secondary contacts of a COVID patient.

Though the family members of the store owner from Uppal showed no symptoms, all the five have been sent to quarantine, Even their neighbours were quarantined, the Uppal inspector said. All the employees of the three shops were also put under quarantine, police said.

Lockdown 5

On the same day, that is April 30, an official statement from the Telangana’s  health department stated that a man from Pahadi Sharif in Old City of Hyderabad informed that two people from Jalpalli, located on the city outskirts, who works in Malakpet ganj, spread the virus . ‘ We have placed  their families and employees of the three traders  in a hospital isolation.  Gunj and Pahadisarif have been declared as containment areas and are taking appropriate measures’, the statement said.

However, Independent  inquiry did not result in identifying  the source. Questions like was he an out-sourcing employee or a trader or customer, was the person a COVID patients or a primary/secondary contact of a patient, remains unanswered.

Speaking to NewsMeter, Malakpet corporator MD Saif Uddin Shafi said, “It is still unclear who spread the virus in the gunj, I have crossed check with the health department as well. It is to note that,  Despite repeated orders from the GHMC and police, no social distancing was maintained at the market.”

The Chaderghat police booked cases under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant of the Indian Penal Code, yet there were no reforms, he added.

With reports of the corona cases coming out, the Malakpet ganj has been closed now.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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