When the cases in the city started to increase Vizag Volunteers came up with an initiative to involve citizens to create awareness on the pandemic and reduce transmission of the virus. The idea was to protect the vendors to reduce transmission of the virus.
When the covid-19 restrictions started to ease in the city, people were back to business, resulting in increased transmission of the virus among the people. We tried to identify multiple scenarios in which the virus can spread and noticed that most people gather and care less about social distancing and face mask use near street vendors. There used to be 2-3 vendors for vegetables and other groceries in every street, and people used to gather around them; when most of the covid-19 cases were asymptomatic, it would be disastrous for the complete locality if a vendor gets infected. To reduce the risk of transmission and break the chain of covid-19, we identified high-risk zones and distributed face masks and face shields to the street vendors.
We also told the vendors about the precautions to prevent covid-19 infection and the following of social distancing by their customers. Our volunteers regularly visited those stalls to keep a check on them; this was done to make sure that they are using the masks and face shields. Our project in some places proved to be successful where the vendors followed all precautions and were safe. However, in some areas, the vendors acted irresponsibly. They flaunted the covid protocols, leading to infections, which later resulted in a loss of business for 24 vendors due to the complete shutdown of that area.
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