Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday ruled out clamping a fresh lockdown in the state, despite the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave, to ensure that economic activity did not get imperilled. Addressing a videoconference with all District Collectors, the Chief Minister remarked that this was a troubling time, but the state has to contain COVID-19 without imposing a lockdown.
"We have seen last year how the financial situation was wrecked due to lockdown and how people suffered. That should not recur. Hence, to ensure that the economic activity does not get jeopardised, we are not going to have another lockdown," the Chief Minister stressed.
During a high-level review meeting last week, the Chief Minister said that Andhra Pradesh suffered a financial loss of Rs 21,000 crore due to the pandemic last year. "If the situation leads to a fresh lockdown, our financial system will be fully damaged," Jagan had warned.
The Chief Minister said that the vaccine was the weapon now available to beat coronavirus. "So, you people must focus on containment without the need for a lockdown. Focused testing of the primary contacts of COVID-19 positive persons is essential," he said.
The Chief Minister maintained that vaccination was the permanent solution to the pandemic, but lamented that it was not in their hands as the Union government was controlling the entire process. "Be it production of the vaccine or distribution...Centre is the total regulatory authority. Our government is making all efforts so that the maximum number of people could be vaccinated," Jagan said, referring to the vaccine scarcity being faced by the state.
Andhra Pradesh on Friday reported 6,096 new COVID-19 cases, raising the overall tally tally over 9.48 lakh, while the state's active cases breached the 35,000-mark to reach 35,592. From logging more than 2,000 cases a day for some days, new infections have now breached the 6,000-mark, mounting the state's coronavirus tally.
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