Concerned over the mounting number of COVID-19 cases, the Telangana government on Sunday decided to conduct 50,000 tests in and around Greater Hyderabad over the next week to 10 days.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that these tests would be conducted in 30 Assembly segments of Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Medchal, and Sangareddy districts.
"We have taken a decision to conduct tests on 50,000 people as a precaution to protect Hyderabad. People should not panic. However, everyone should follow the personal hygiene and precautions," the Chief Minister said at a meeting with Health Minister Eatala Rajender and senior officials to review the situation.
The meeting decided to contain the spread of COVID-19 with strict measures in Hyderabad and its surroundings.
The Chief Minister asked the officials to utilise the services of the private labs and hospitals in conducting 50,000 tests. He said the officials should finalise the guidelines for conducting tests, and the fee collected by the private labs and hospitals.
KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, wanted the officials to offer home quarantine for those who tested positive but have no serious symptoms.
The decision to conduct 50,000 tests came amid the surge in the number of infections, especially in Greater Hyderabad and mounting criticism by the opposition parties for conducting fewer tests.
It came a day after the state reported 253 cases, the highest in a single day, pushing the state's tally to 4,737.
KCR said that more focus should be put on Hyderabad and the four districts around it. He also instructed that measures should be taken on a war footing in the 30 Assembly segments in these five districts.
The Assembly segments where the tests will be conducted are Uppal, LB Nagar, Maheswaram, Ibrahimpatnam, Rajendranagar, Serilingampally, Chevella, Pargi, Vikarabad, Tandoor, Medchal, Malkajgiri, Qutballpur, Kukatpally, Malakpet, Amberpet, Musheerabad, Khairatabad, Jubilee Hills, Sanath Nagar, Nampally, Karawan, Gosha Mahal, Charminar, Chandrayangutta, Yakutpura, Bahadurpura, Secunderabad, Secunderabad Cantonment and Patancheru.
"Hyderabad is like the heart of Telangana state. It is a city with more population. It is one of the Metropolitan cities in the country. It is a responsibility of all of us that the health of citizens, the image of the city and the progress and development of it should be maintained on a permanent basis. Though the spread of coronavirus is less in the State, more number of positive cases are being reported from Hyderabad and its surrounding places. There is a need to put an end to this," he said.
KCR reiterated that the government is ready to offer treatment to the coronavirus positive patients whatever may be their number. Test kits, PPE Kits, ventilators, ICU beds, beds, masks are available with the government adequately. "Nobody should entertain any fear. Besides taking measures on a war footing to contain the virus, the government is in all preparedness to offer medical treatment to the patients with all the commitment and alertness," he added.
The officials pointed out that compared to other states, the spread of virus is less in the state. They also said that there is an increase in the percentage of recoveries while there is a fall in the death rate.
They stated that when compared to other places in the State, number of positive cases are being registered in Hyderabad, Rangareddy and Medchel districts followed by Sangareddy and Vikarabad districts.