The Telangana government on Tuesday has further extended the complete lockdown by another three weeks in the state till May 29 with stringent enforcement of the Epidemic Diseases Act in red zones, curfew will continue from 7 pm to 6 am regardless of the zones.
Addressing a press meet after the marathon cabinet session lasting more than seven hours, KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said the complete lockdown will be most severe in the red zones namely Hyderabad, Suryapet, Ranga Reddy, Medchal Malkajigiri, Vikarabad, Warangal Urban. “Even shops will not be allowed,” KCR said while pointing out that the virus spread is more in these districts. Reeling out statistics, he said of the total 1,096 positive cases, 66 per cent of the cases were reported in Hyderabad. The virus spread is more in Hyderabad, Vikarabad Rangareddy and Medchal districts. Of the total 1,096 positive cases, 717 (66.08 per cent) belong to these four districts. Telangana has nine green, six red and 18 orange zones. KCR hoped that with the number of cases on the decline, the government may shift 18 orange zones to green zones soon.
He patted the entire government machinery for the good work they have done in containing the spread of the virus. “Nobody knew the meaning of containment, including the government of India. We declared Karminagar as containment zone after 12 Indonesian nationals were tested positive for corona virus. The measures we have initiated to contain the spread of virus in Karimangar was appreciated by all. Telangana has become a role model in the country,” KCR said. The Chief Minister stated that the ‘Virus is far from over. Constant vigil is paramount. This is a deadly virus, we cannot take it lightly.”
The central government had declared Hyderabad, Suryapet, Ranga Reddy, Medchal Malkajigiri, Vikarabad, Warangal Urban as red zones. While Nizamabad, Jogulamba Gadwal, Nirmal, Nalgonda, Adilabad, Kamareddy, Sangareddy, Komaram Bheem, Asifabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Jagityal, Rajanna Siricilla, Jayashankar Bhupalapalli, Medak, Jangam, Narayapet have been categorized as Orange zones. Peddapalli, Nagakurnool, Mulugu, Badradri Kothagudem, Mahabubabad, Siddipet, Warangal Rural, Wanaparty, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri were placed in the Green zones.
He said there will be strict enforcement of lockdown the red zones, while there will be some relaxations in green and orange. “Shops will be allowed, but I warn that people should maintain physical distance norm. Let’s redefine social distancing. We should call it physical distance and not social distancing as it may wrongly denote segregation or ostracization of some social classes,” the Chief Minister said.
The State government has also decided to go ahead with the SSC or class 10 examinations, but did not specify the dates. KCR said the exams, however, will not be without precautions. He informed that the students will be made to sit at least one meter away to ensure physical distancing. Since coronavirus can spread through community and human transfer, wearing masks, avoiding gathering and physical contact will among the precautionary measures, KCR said. The government will provide special buses for the students and special passes will be issued to students who travel by private cars.
Further, the Chief Minister at least three companies are working on a vaccine for Covid-19, joining global efforts to find a quick preventive for the deadly infection spreading rapidly across the world. “Vaccine development is a lengthy process which often takes years, with many challenges. Fortunately, we can expect the vaccine by August or September from Shanta Biotech. The company’s MD had a meeting with me and he was confident that the vaccine could be out by maximum September. If that happens, Telangana’s Genome Valley will have a pride of place not just in India but in the entire world,” KCR stated.