Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam district administration, as well as the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation authorities, sounded a high alert in Dandu Bazaar, an old slum located close to the popular Jagadamba centre in Vizag city, where 10 new COVID-19 cases were reported during the week. Two of those cases were reported on 6 May.

Nearly 42,000 residents from 11,600 households live in 20 colonies of Dandu Bazaar. This was the first area in the state where officials observed that the virus had spread to neighbours from a positive patient.

The principal of Andhra Medical College, P.V Sudhakar, and district collector V. Vinay Chand said they have scanned the entire area. They have collected 160 samples from the locality where the 10 cases were reported and sent them for tests. More positive cases may come up, they added. Mr Sudhakar said a survey was being conducted to find out who visited the area during the past three weeks so that their swabs could be tested.

Leaders and activists of Left parties blamed the spread of Corona virus on lack of awareness. People did not wear masks or maintain social distancing when the first cases were reported, they said. Since the area is congested, the officials should have evacuated the people, said a former employee of King George Hospital.

The city police chief, R.K Meena, said they have sealed the entire area to contain the spread of the virus and no one will be allowed to either enter or leave the Dandu Bazaar area.

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