‘No lockdown in Telangana for now’

What next? Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said that the imposition of lockdown in some States yielded no significant results.  

The Telangana State government has indicated that there is no chance of imposing total or partial lockdown in the State at present in the wake of the increasing number of COVID cases.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said that the imposition of lockdown in some States yielded no significant results. The situation was totally under control and recent trends indicated that the COVID curve was flattening. “We have to think about the livelihoods of people and other issues. The situation is totally under control and the State Cabinet will take a call on lockdown if the need arises,” he said.

The night curfew imposed in the State would continue for some more days and the government would take a call on extending it only after the deadline for the night curfew (May 8 at 5 a.m.) ends. Asked about the High Court’s suggestion on imposition of weekend lockdown, he said that the government would definitely examine the recommendation “but imposing lockdown will be of no big use”.

The Chief Secretary said situation in the State was much better compared to other States as the government had initiated proactive steps to check the spread of the virus.

Declining trend

Indicators both direct and proxy like the positivity rate showed that the virus was showing a declining trend and the situation was likely to return to normalcy in the next one week to 10 days.

Steps like significant increase in bed strength in hospitals, oxygen supplies and supply of consumables, including medicine, had been taken so that the State handled the situation effectively. There was enough oxygen available with the government to cater to the existing and emerging needs as the government had taken steps to take oxygen from other States through specialised rakes and airlifted tankers to procure oxygen from other States. The oxygen requirement was currently estimated at 600 metric tonnes (MT) going by the occupancy rate in hospitals.

The State had capacity of manufacturing 125 MT and the Centre had allotted 430 MT. The State was able to source 45 MT of oxygen from neighbouring States like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In addition to constituting teams of health and other associated departments, steps had been initiated for door-to-door survey to identify people with symptoms.

Home treatment kits were being provided to people with mild symptoms while sufficient bed strength was available with the hospitals to treat moderate to serious cases. In all, 17 kits of RtPCR required for testing patients were made available in hospitals while tender process for procuring another 14 had been completed.

“Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao gave express instructions that the departments concerned can place orders for the required material be it essentials or equipment without looking about financial aspects,” he asserted. Call centres were being set up at the district level to constantly receive requests from people and give advice while outpatient centres have been set up in all government medical establishments providing people with home treatment kits.

It was for the people not to panic, the Chief Secretary said, expressing concern over scope for panic among people through circulation of social media messages.

Asked about the doubts over the figures pertaining to COVID cases and deaths released by the department, he said the government was giving out the figures duly following the protocols laid down by the ICMR. “The numbers we declare are the real figures,” he said.

Mr. Somesh Kumar said that the number of beds had been increased from 18,000 in September last to 52,000 at present while patients from different parts of the country were arriving in the city for COVID treatment as the city, reputed as medical treatment capital, was living up to the expectations.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 6:56:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/no-lockdown-in-telangana-for-now/article34493528.ece

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