Andhra begins enforcing partial lockdown, Telangana still waiting for nod from KCR
As the Andhra Pradesh government began strictly implementing partial lockdown with effect from Wednesday afternoon to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Telangana government is yet to take a call on enforcing any lockdown in the state, at least during the weekends.
According to an official in the Telangana state health department familiar with the development, the authorities are waiting for instructions from chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has just recovered from Covid-19.
KCR, who had been under quarantine at his farmhouse at Erravelli village of Siddipet district since April 19 when he tested positive for the virus, returned to his official bungalow Pragati Bhavan in Hyderabad on Thursday, two days after he tested negative.
“He is expected to hold a high-level meeting on Friday to review the Covid-19 situation in the state and decide on whether to enforce lockdown – total or partial. At present, there is only night curfew in the state – from 9 pm to 6 am, which will be in force till May 8,” the official cited above said.
The high court on Wednesday suggested that the government consider the possibility of imposing lockdown at least during the weekends and inform the same to the court by Saturday. “We shall take the high court’s suggestions into consideration while exploring all other options,” state chief secretary Somesh Kumar said.
Kumar held a high-level review meeting at the secretariat on Wednesday and went around various hospitals on Thursday to find out the ground situation. He said as of now, the situation in Telangana was under control and there was a gradual decline in the number of cases in the state.
According to the bulletin issued by the state health department on Thursday morning, out of 79,824 people who underwent tests for Covid-19, as many as 6026 positive cases were reported on Wednesday night, besides 52 deaths. The cumulative number of positive cases in Telangana till now is 4,75,748 and total death toll is 2,579.
The chief secretary said if people took proper precautions, there was no need to impose lockdown. “The healthcare system of the state is able to reach out and provide medical facilities at the right time. Lockdown is not a solution as it affects the livelihoods of millions of people,” he said.
The Andhra Pradesh government on the other hand has begun strictly implementing partial lockdown in the state – from 12 noon to 6 am every day, in the wake of growing number of Coronavirus cases in the state. The partial lockdown will continue for 14 days.
All shops will be open between 6 am and 12 noon every day, after which curfew is being enforced till 6 am the following day. Only emergency services will be allowed to operate after 12 noon. No public or private transport on the roads and no shops would be allowed to run. The state government also withdrew RTC bus services in the afternoon.
On Thursday, Andhra Pradesh reported as many as 21,954 positive cases for Covid-19, apart from 72 deaths. The cumulative number of positive cases in the state so far is 12,28,186 and the total death toll is 8446, a bulletin released by the state health department said.