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Fresh Covid cases sign of third wave, will spike in coming weeks: Telangana govt

While many states have already imposed restrictions on gatherings on the eve of new year's, Telangana has allowed events, hotels, pubs, and bars to serve alcohol till 1 am and retail liquor stores to stay open till midnight.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad |
December 30, 2021 2:35:57 pm
Telanagana covid patients, Telangana high court, Telangana entry of COVID-19 patients, Telangana government, Telangana govt circular on patients, Indian expressCitizens stand in a queue to undergo COVID-19 testing, as coronavirus cases surge across the country, at Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad. (PTI Photo/File)

The rise in fresh cases of Covid-19 in the last two days is indicative of the beginning of the third wave of the viral infection in Telangana, said state Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao on Thursday, warning of a steep rise in the spread of the virus in the next few weeks.

“We are issuing an early warning for people to take precautions. Everyone is vulnerable and the virus has entered the country and community. The infections are definitely going to spike in the next two to four weeks” he said.

Speaking to the media, Rao asked the public to not distinguish the virus variants and continue to take precautions ahead of the new year celebrations. While many states have already imposed restrictions on gatherings on the eve of new year’s, Telangana has allowed events, hotels, pubs, and bars to serve alcohol till 1 am and retail liquor stores to stay open till midnight.

While this has drawn criticism from different quarters, Dr Rao clarified that the government has made a double dose of vaccination mandatory for entry into events, pubs, and bars etc and warned of strict enforcement of mask rule by imposing a fine of Rs 1000.

“Sorry to say that night curfew is not going to curb the spread of this virus. Ultimately, it is self-discipline and self-imposed restrictions that are going to help. We have learnt our lessons from the previous waves of Covid. We have achieved 100 per cent coverage of the first dose of vaccination and 67 per cent in the second dose. We have the manpower, resources, beds, drugs, and we are also self-sufficient in oxygen supply,” said Dr Rao.

The department, he said, is closely monitoring the spread of infections. “People should stop bothering whether it is Omicron or Delta variant. As soon as symptoms surface, one should seek medical interventions,” he added.

All the 62 persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 and detected with the Omicron variant of the infection so far in Telangana were asymptomatic, Dr Rao said.

The Telangana High Court, meanwhile, on Thursday will hear a public interest petition on the state’s response to the new Covid-19 variant. The petitioner argued that the state government has not honoured the court’s earlier direction to take appropriate preventive action to curb the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, 235 new Covid-19 infections were reported and 1,213 patients are currently hospitalised for treatment of the disease. As of date, the state has a total of 54,229 beds reserved for Covid-19 treatment. The government has also converted 25,390 beds of total 27,996 available beds into oxygen beds, according to the health department.

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