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TS Govt lost Rs 1 lakh crore due to Corona: KCR

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday said that the state government has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore due to the outbreak of coronavirus in March 2020 and subsequent lockdowns and other restrictions later.

KCR said the second wave of corona since April this year too contributed to the severe financial crisis.

KCR toured Siricilla, the home constituency of his son and IT minister KT Rama Rao on Sunday to launch several development programmes and inaugurate the newly-constructed integrated collectorate complex.

However, the severe financial crisis of the state government did not deter KCR from showering sops on Siricilla.

KCR announced sanctioning of new medical colleges, super speciality hospital, tourism circuit and what not.

KCR announced sharp increase in stipend for Anganwadi workers and other ground level medical staff.

KCR also announced launching a new insurance scheme for weavers along the lines of Rythu Bima.

However, KCR stated that the Covid situation in Telangana has now come under control and economic activity is picking up across the state.

He said Telangana state will soon overcome the financial crisis and become a ‘rich state’ very soon.

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Tirupati declared as containment zone, curfew from 2 pm!


The entire Tirupati city was declared as ‘containment zone’ on Monday (today) in the wake of increasing corona cases in the city.

Tirupati municipal corporation commissioner Girisha issued orders to this effect.

He said every division in Tirupathi limits has corona positive cases and for this reason entire city was declared as containment zone.

It was also decided to impose curfew in Tirupati from 2 pm every day.

The Andhra Pradesh government has imposed night curfew across AP from 10 pm to 5 am.

But in Tirupati, it was decided to impose curfew from 2 pm itself to check the spread of coronavirus.

All the traders and commercial establishments have voluntarily come down to close shops by 2 pm every day till the situation improves as corona cases have increased to alarming levels in Tirupati.

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Lockdown should be the last resort: Modi


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advised the state governments to use lockdown as the last resort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 cases. He said that instead of lockdown, the focus should be on creating ‘micro containment zones’.

In his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, Modi said: “In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown. We have to concentrate on micro containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown.”

The Prime Minister emphasized that along with saving lives, the effort was on to save the economic activities and ensure minimum adverse impact on the livelihood of the people.

“By opening vaccination for those who are 18 years and above, vaccine will be available quickly for the workforce in the cities,” he said.

The Prime Minister suggested the state governments to boost the confidence of the workers and convince them to stay wherever they are.

“This confidence by the states will greatly help the workers and labourers and they will get the vaccine wherever they are and their work will also not suffer,” Modi said.

On shortage of oxygen, Modi said: “The government is working with speed and sensitivity to meet the increasing demand of oxygen in the various parts of the country. The Centre, state governments and private sector are trying to ensure that every needy person gets oxygen.”

“Efforts to increase oxygen production and supply are on at various levels. Measures like installing new oxygen plants, providing one lakh new cylinders, diverting oxygen from the industrial use, are being undertaken.”

Lauding the efforts of scientists, the Prime Minister said: “Our scientists came out with the vaccine in a very short time and today India has the cheapest vaccine in the world. Due to this team effort, India has embarked upon the world’s largest vaccination drive with two ‘Made in India’ vaccines.”

He further stated that from the very first phase of the vaccination drive, it has been emphasized that the vaccine reaches the maximum number of areas, and to the people who need it.

He pointed out that India gave the first 10 crore, 11 crore and the 12 crore vaccine doses in the shortest time in the world.

Speaking about the government’s Monday’s decision, he said that after May 1 every person above 18 years of age can be vaccinated and half of the vaccine produced in India will go directly to the states and hospitals.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the country has much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave.

Modi also credited the people of India for a good and patient fight. “With the strength of people’s participation, we will be able to defeat this wave of Corona too,” he said.

He saluted the contribution of social organisations who are helping the people in the time of need and called upon everyone to move forward to help the people who require help.

The Prime Minister also called upon the youth to help in maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour in their areas and neighbourhood. “This will help in avoiding containment zones, curfews or lockdowns.”

He also expressed condolences for the lives lost to the pandemic.

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Intensive sanitisation drive in Hyderabad due to Covid surge


Municipal authorities in Hyderabad on Sunday took up intensive sanitisation drive and sprayed sodium hypochlorite at several places in the city in view of the massive surge in Covid-19 cases.

On the direction of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) took up sanitisation on war footing.

Spraying of sodium hypochlorite was taken up at 636 places in the city by 453 teams of the Entomology Department. In a single day, they sprayed 900 litres of disinfectant. The teams used 840 sprayers, seven jet machines, 63 big fogging machines, and 302 small fogging machines for spraying in over 16,000 habitations.

Spraying of sodium hypochlorite was taken up twice in a day in areas where more number of Covid cases were being recorded. The authorities have made available 3,000 litres of the chemical in every GHMC zone. Emergency teams have been constituted at the zone and circle levels.

The spraying operations were mainly focused urban health centres, basti dawakhanas, places of worship, markets and other public places.

Mayor Vijayalaxmi Gadwal conducted a surprise visit at few places in the city to review the sanitisation drive, which will continue for three days.

The GHMC officials deployed additional vehicles to remove the garbage from garbage dumping points, roads and public places.

The Mayor also made a surprise visit in Khairatabad and Charminar zones to inspect the special sanitisation drive.

She was shocked to see garbage littered up to one kilometer on a road in Vijayanagar colony, summoned the Deputy Commissioner and directed him to immediately get the garbage cleared. She also spoke to the Zonal Commissioner over phone to convey her unhappiness. She directed that garbage be cleared immediately from all the places.

Telangana on Sunday reported over 5,000 cases during 24-hour period, the highest single day spike since the outbreak last year. Hyderabad alone accounted for more than 700 cases.

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Andhra develops app to monitor Covid vaccination


Andhra Pradesh has developed user friendly app for Covid-19 vaccination drive from Monday.

Officials said the app is developed for online monitoring and capturing of individual vaccination data/information from anywhere in the state.

All Medical officers would use this app to enter the vaccinated individual’s details as and when he/she got vaccinated, said state Covid nodal officer Dr Arja Srikanth.

Every medical officer has been provided with user name and password. Each medical officer’s login provides entire district lists of unvaccinated frontline workers and healthcare workers.

Details of a healthcare worker or frontline worker can be searched using registration ID or mobile number or name.

An SMS alert will be sent to each frontline and health care worker’s mobile, as per time slots.

The health department has directed all frontline and health care workers to complete their vaccination by Monday as per their SMS alert time slots.

The official said as per the instruction of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the state administration is geared up to complete vaccination of all its almost half a million healthcare workers and frontline workers.

He described this as another important initiative by the state to care its frontline workers who in turn are equipped to fight pandemic effectively.

Stating that vaccination is the only weapon against Covid-19, the chief minister on Saturday directed the officials to focus on vaccination, tests and preparedness of hospitals.

He said six lakh vaccines should be administered every day in the state. Reddy has already written a letter to the central government seeking required vaccine doses. He said health care workers and frontline workers should compulsorily take vaccine and added that the collectors should focus on limiting vaccine wastage.

The chief minister said 1.55 crore tests have been conducted in the state since last year and 9.37 lakh cases have been tested positive. The positivity rate in the state is 6.03 per cent while the recovery rate is 96.19 per cent against the national average of 88.9 per cent.

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Tirupati battle today amid special Covid measures


The polling for the Tirupati by-election began at 7 a.m. today and it would continue till 7 p.m. Special measures were taken to prevent the spread of Covid virus. The infected voters would be allowed to vote at the polling stations after 6 p.m. Moreover, the number of voters per polling station has also been reduced to 1,000 from the earlier 1,500.There are over 17.11 lakh voters in the Tirupati parliamentary segment right now.

The overall constituency is spread over four assembly constituencies in the Nellore district and three assembly segments in the Chittoor district.The main political parties, the YCP and the TDP, have continued their mutual allegations even on the polling day. The TDP complained to the election commission that the ruling party Ministers are still camping in the Tirupati segment even after the campaigning came to an end.

Whereas, the police authorities have made the TDP leaders to leave Tirupati immediately after the closure of the campaign.The fate of YCP nominee Dr. Gurumurthy will be decided in this election. He is contesting in a direct election for the first time and solely dependent on the Chief Minister’s blessings and the Ministers’ support.

Whereas, TDP nominee Panabaka Lakshmi is a long time politician and former Union Minister with considerable experience.BJP nominee Ratna Prabha is a former IAS officer and retired Chief Secretary of Karnataka. Congress nominee Chinta Mohan has represented Tirupati in the past for many times.Following the demands from the Opposition, over 23 companies of Central forces and three companies of special teams were brought to ensure a free and fair poll today.

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Telangana records 2,478 cases in a new daily high


In a new daily high, Telangana on Friday reported 2,478 new Covid-19 cases during the last 24 hours as the surge continues across the state.

The new infection climbed to 2,478 from 2,055 the previous day. The fresh cases pushed the state’s cumulative tally to 3,21,182.

Five more persons succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours that ended 8 p.m. Thursday, taking the death toll to 1,746. According to the director of public health and family welfare, the fatality rate remains at 0.54 per cent against the national average of 1.30 per cent.

The number of active cases jumped to 15,472 from 13,362 the previous day. They include 9,674 who are in home/institutional isolation.

A total of 363 people recovered from the pandemic during the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative recoveries to 3,03,964. The recovery rate has slipped further to 94.63 per cent but still above the national average of 91.2 per cent.

Greater Hyderabad crossed 400-mark to report 402 cases while districts bordering it continue to witness a surge. Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts reported 208 and 162 cases respectively.

Nizamabad district bordering Maharashtra became the third worst affected district with 176 new cases. Nirmal registered 111 new cases followed by Jagtiyal (105), Kamareddy (98), Mahaboobnagar (96), Nalgonda (88), Karimnagar (87), Mancherial (85), Warangal Urban (82), Sangareddy (79), and Adilabad (72).

The admissions into hospitals treating Covid cases have also gone up to 5,798 from 5,099 the previous day.

According to director of public health, 4,219 patients were undergoing treatment in 244 private hospitals while 1,579 beds were occupied in 61 government hospitals.

For the first time since the pandemic broke out, the authorities conducted over one lakh tests in a single day. Of the total 1,01,986 tests conducted during last 24 hours, 89,645 samples were tested in government laboratories and 12,341 in private labs. With this, the number of tests conducted in the state so far climbed to 1,07,61,939. Samples tested per million population rose to 2,89,143.

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Telangana HC orders Covid test on people coming from other states


The Telangana High Court on Thursday directed state health authorities to conduct Covid-19 tests on those coming from other states.

It also suggested that only those who have undergone RT-PCR tests be allowed into the state.

The high court orders came in the wake of surge in Covid cases, especially in the districts bordering Maharashtra, which is witnessing a massive spike.

The court also asked the government to constitute a committee of experts to suggest measures to check the spread of Covid-19.

It observed that while the state may not impose a lockdown, it should create containment zones wherever cases were detected to check spread of the virus.

On the direction of the court two days ago, the Health Department submitted its report on testing and treatment while the Director General of Police submitted a report on action taken against the violators of Covid-19 guidelines.

The DGP, in his report, informed the court that 22,000 cases were booked against those violating Covid-19 guidelines. The report says 2,416 cases were booked for not following social distancing, and six cases for spitting on roads.

The court expressed surprise that only 1.16 lakh people were fined for not following the Covid guidelines, observing that action against those not following guidelines is only for name’s sake.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy once again voiced its displeasure over fewer RT-PCR tests at a time when the second wave of the pandemic is sweeping across the country. It asked the health authorities to increase RT-PCR tests to 70 per cent of all Covid tests as per guidelines issued by the Central government.

The court expressed concern over crowds at liquor shops, bars, pubs and cinema theatres, remarking that the liquor shops have turned into corona sources. It directed that criminal cases be booked against those wine shops, pubs, bars and restaurants violating Covid guidelines and their license be cancelled.

The court also asked the health authorities to ensure that social distancing is followed at the meetings of political parties and marriages.

The Health Department informed the court that sero surveillance will be completed in six weeks, and the court asked it to submit the report.

The court also wanted the government to spell out its plans for giving Covid vaccine to various groups of beneficiaries, especially inmates of old age homes. It directed the government to provide details of the number of doses received by the state, doses administered, wastage etc.

The court asked the government to submit a report by April 14 and adjourned the hearing to April 19.

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Telangana govt orders closure of all schools, colleges from March 24 due to corona


The Telangana state government today (Tuesday) announced the closure of all educational institutions in the state from March 24 in the wake of increasing corona cases across the state.

Education Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy makes an announcement to this effect in Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

She said that majority of the fresh covid cases are being reported from educational institutions across the state for the past few days forcing the government to order the closure of educational institutions.

Sabitha said that States such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh etc have already closed educational institutions due to corona.

She said parents in Telangana are concerned about the safety of their children and requesting the state government to close educational institutions.

She said all educational institutions will be allowed to hold online classes like earlier.

These orders are applicable to all educational institutions except medical colleges.

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8 arrested in Hyderabad for blackmarketing of COVID drugs

Hyderabad police on Tuesday busted an inter-state gang with the arrest of eight people for blackmarketing medicines used for treatment of coronavirus.

The police also seized medicines worth Rs 35 lakhs and eight mobile phones.

The sleuths of Commissioner’s Task Force, South Zone team with the assistance of Chaderghat police apprehended eight accused who were blackmarketing generic versions of Remdesivir, Actemra and Fabiflu medicines which are being used for COVID-19 patients.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said the police seized 51 Remdesivir (100 mg) injections, nine Actemra (400 mg) injections and four Actemra (80 mg) injections.

One of the accused Gagan Khurana is a resident of Delhi while others are from Hyderabad. Almost all the accused are either medical distributors or running medical agencies.

The accused are K. Venkata Subramanyam, Santosh Kumar, Mohd. Shaker, K. Kishore, Rahul Agarwal, Gagan Khurana, Saif Ali Mohammed and Firdous Mohammed.

Police said as antiviral drugs Remdesivir, Actemra and FabiFlu are being used for treatment of COVID, their demand increased across the country within a short period. Remdesivir is being manufactured by Hetero Company unit located at Sangareddy. The accused formed a group and started black marketing of emergency drug for COVID-19 patients to earn easy money illegally.

The police investigations revealed that prime accused Venkata Subramanyam was allegedly purchasing the drugs from Hetero Company. The medicines were being sold by the accused for a profit ranging from Rs 3,500 to Rs 18,000. The medicine was being sold to customer for a price between Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 depending on the demand.

Accused Rahul Agarwal was procuring Actemra drug from Delhi through one Gagan Khurana and selling the same to the needy customers at higher price.

According to police while of Covifer (Remedesivir) had Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of Rs 5,400, the same was being sold for Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000.

While nine 400 mg injections of Actemra (Tocilizumab) carried MRP Rs 40,000, it was was sold for Rs 90,000 – 1,00,000. Four 80 mg injections of Actemra (Tocilizumab) were sold for Rs 25,000 against their MRP of Rs 8,000.

Similarly they were also selling FabiFlu tablets and COVID-19 rapid testing kits for higher prices.

Police also seized net cash of Rs 55,000 and eight mobile phones from the accused.

As per the procedure mentioned on the box of these drugs, they are meant for institutional/hospital sale only. Remdesivir drug comes with a consent form that has to be filled and signed by the patient/attendant and concerned doctor at the time of administration of drug. A copy of consent form has to be handed over to patient or attendants. It is the duty of the institution to ensure availability of consent form all the time especially during inspection by CDSCO/DCGI.

The police commissioner appealed to people not to get lured and cheated by brokers or fake agents. He said in case of any doubt, citizens can send information on WhatsApp at 9490616555 or contact local patrol car.

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