Lockdown likely in Greater Hyderabad, will ramp up testing: Etela

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With an alarming rise in infection rates, Telangana is likely to impose lockdown in Greater Hyderabad for at least 15 days.

Health Minister Etela Rajender on Monday said Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is mulling to impose complete lockdown in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, which have been reporting the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the state. A decision to this effect will be taken in a Cabinet meeting, he said. The state witnessed the highest single-day jump of 1,087 Covid-19 cases on Sunday. The corona tally crossed 14,000 overtaking Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Of the fresh cases, 888 were reported in Greater Hyderabad which has emerged as the biggest hotspot in the state.

With growing criticism that the state government was not testing enough, Etela Rajender stated that the health administration will accelerate the testing of suspected coronavirus cases, although the measures still fall significantly short of the levels compared to states like Kerala, Rajasthan or even Jharkhand. As things stand today, the state health administration has so far collected 79,231 samples for COVID-19 testing which is about half the tests conducted by states like Jharkhand. The KCR government had to bear the brunt of Opposition criticism that Telangana has miserably failed to ramp up testing compared to states like Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Etela Rajender defended the government’s approach to testing but said it intended to scale it up, noting that efforts were already substantial.

“We have made extensive arrangements to accelerate testing as per the ICMR guidelines. We have set up corona testing centers and will ramp up testing from tomorrow. We will follow ICMR guidelines,” he stated.

Further, the health minister noted that at least 250 medical workers contracted the virus. “A head nurse succumbed to the virus. About 180 police personnel were tested positive for the virus,” he pointed out.

The health minister also stated that the government had readied 17,500 beds to treat corona patients. “We have supplied oxygen facilities for 3,500 beds. In the next three to four days, we will supply oxygen facilities to another 6,500 beds. Currently, there are only 10 Corona patients who are on ventilators,” he said.

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