Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday hoped that the state could be declared ‘corona free’ if no fresh cases are reported till April 7.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the Chief Minister the state reported 70 positive cases of corona, 58 were undergoing treatment at various government hospitals, 5,742 were under quarantine, 11 were tested negative for corona virus. He reiterated that people should strictly follow social distancing and stay indoors to contain the spread of the virus. “Social distancing and staying indoors is the only weapon we have to fight this battle against the virus. I request the people of Telangana to cooperate in our efforts to achieve corona free tag to our state. For this, self-discipline is the best defence and weapon against the virus. Let us pray god that we should come out of this,” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister noted that medical experts and international medical journals have lauded the efforts and measures of the central and the state governments to contain the spread of corona virus, especially with regard to the complete lockdown and social distancing norms,. “Some international medical journals have appreciated that India, with a population of 130 crore, has taken some effective measures to contain and tackle the contagion of corona virus,” Chandrasekhara Rao informed.
He said farmers, who sell their crops through established supply chains like market yards to sell their produce, should avoid doing so as the government had closed all the markets as part of the complete lockdown to restrict the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The state government has made all arrangements for the procurement of agricultural produce, including paddy and corn, directly from villages. Since all the market yards were closed as part of complete lockdown, the government has made arrangements to enable farmers to sell their produce in villages to contain the spread of virus, he said. In this regard, the government will issue coupons with specific dates clearly mentioned for the sale of the produce, the Chief Minister informed. He said the district and village officials were directed to prepare estimates for different crops and provide tokens to farmers for avoiding crowds at procurement centres. The purchases will be made through respective Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) or IKP procurement centres located in each village
“The government has no money to buy the produce. We have asked the civil supplies corporation to lend Rs 25,000 crore and another Rs 3,000 crore from Markfed to raise the money required to buy the produce directly from the farmers. The government revenue took a hit due to the corona virus, but we are doing everything from our end to ensure that the farmers do not suffer,” he said.
The Chief Minister said no migrant labour from other states will go hungry and would have to leave Telangana for want of shelter during the complete lockdown. Further, Chandraskehara Rao said he had instructed district officials to stay at home and advised migrant labour not to cross the border.
“We consider the migrant workers as partners in the development of Telangana. We have to treat them as sons of our soil. I have instructed the ofificals to grant Rs 500 per migrant worker and 12 kilos of rice or 12 kilos of wheat. Nobody should starve in Telangana. I have also instructed the officials to ensure they get all the necessary medical attention required. The migrant labour is like our brothers, our sons. They are part of our family. If migrant workers have any problem, they can meet the local MLA or district collectors. The migrant workers can stay in Telangana without any worries or concerns,” he said. The children of the labourers shall be provided with eggs and milk from the Anganwadi centers, he said.
He said the state government will allow poultry vehicles and vehicles that transport fruits despite the complete lockdown. “The state government will buy all the fruit cultivated in Telangana from the farmers. This is for the benefit of Telangana people as consumption of fruits such as oranges, sweet lime and pomegranates are known to build immune systems. These are vitamin-packed fruits. The produce of these fruits in Telangana will not be exported for the benefit of Telangana people. High doses of Vitamin C will be good in these days of coronavirus,” he reiterated. He also said corn will be procured at Rs 1,760 per quintal by TS Markfed to ensure that farmers do not suffer due to the Covid-19 crisis.