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Monday, May 17, 2021

Lockdown unlikely in Telangana even as active Covid infections surge

On Wednesday night, Telangana's director of Public Health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao issued a statement clarifying that the health department had not recommended to the state government to impose a lockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad |
April 29, 2021 12:21:02 pm
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample as others wait their turn to test for Covid-19 at Urban Primary Health Centre in Hyderabad, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Telangana, which has been witnessing a rapid rise in the active number of coronavirus cases, may not impose a state-wide lockdown unlike its worst-hit neighbours Maharashtra and Karnataka—two states Telangana blames for its rising caseload.

On Wednesday night, Telangana’s director of Public Health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao issued a statement clarifying that the health department had not recommended to the state government to impose a lockdown. “There is no truth in the propaganda going on in the electronic and social media that the medical health department has sent proposals to the government to impose a lockdown in the state. The Department of Medical Health has not made any such proposal,” he said, denying submission of any report to the state on a lockdown.

Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters, Home Minister Md Mahmood Ali too said that the government was not in support of a lockdown as it would cause hardship to the poor. “Based on the situation after the night curfew and as per the recommendations of the Health Department, the Chief Minister will take a decision after April 30,” he had said.

Further, Dr Rao said, “Currently, there is stability in the increase in Covid cases in Telangana. The virus can be controlled in another 3 to 4 weeks if people take precautions. So there are no plans for a lockdown. At least the medical health department has no such intention of recommending one.”

The State government had imposed a 10-day night curfew between April 20 and May 1. This is likely to be extended even if a complete lockdown may not be imposed.

Telangana’s rate of new infections has been much lesser in numbers compared to states Karanataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, or Kerala. This is often cited by the health department as the result of its focus and efforts to trace symptomatic patients.

Meanwhile, 7,994 new infections of coronavirus recorded till 8 pm Wednesday has taken the active caseload to 76,060, according to the medical bulletin issued Thursday morning. 58 people succumbed to the disease on the same day. Greater Hyderabad recorded 1,630 new cases during the same time, followed by Medchal-Malkajgiri 615 cases and Rangareddy district 558 cases.

The test positivity rate stands at 10.5 percent despite the steep fall in the total number of tests. The state had reported its highest single-day spike of 10,122 cases on Monday from 94,164 samples tested. The next day, on Tuesday, 8,061 new infections were reported from 82,270 samples tested. On Wednesday, Telangana tested 80,181 samples, results of 4,725 samples are awaited. Similarly, the number of micro containment zones are also on a decline. As of Wednesday night, there were only 279 such zones and the highest number of 42 such zones was reported from Hyderabad

Among the total active patients as of Thursday morning, nearly 30 percent or as many as 22,120 persons are undergoing treatment in different hospitals across the state. Of them, 10,771 patients are on oxygen support and another 6,213 are in ICU beds. Nearly 77 percent of the total hospitalised patients are thus in ICU beds or on oxygen support. According to the health department, more 6,824 oxygen beds and 3,379 ICU beds are lying vacant as of 9 am Thursday.

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