Residents in Hyderabad’s Old City feel neglected, because despite a high number of cases only one dedicated COVID-19 hospital for free testing is allotted to the area.

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Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, July 02, 2020 - 15:58

The Telangana government released a fresh list of 11 hospitals in Hyderabad where free COVID-19 test facility will be available. Surprisingly, there is only one hospital available for residents of Old City who are worried about the spurt in cases in the area over the last three months.

Late on Wednesday, state Health Minister Eatala Rajender had put out a list of free coronavirus testing centres in the capital city. The list includes 11 hospitals across the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Amjed Ullah Khan, spokesperson, Majlis Bachao Tehreek, who is a resident of Old City, took to Twitter to express his anguish. He said, “Gross Injustice to the people old city of Hyd, Since #Unlock1 there has been steep rise in corona cases and among them 70% cases are from Malakpet, Yakutpura, Charminar, C-gutta, Bahadurpura, Goshamahal & Nampally. Out of 11 centers only 1 at Nizamia Tibbi Hospital, Charminar for Oldcity of Hyd.” (sic)

Another concern raised by local residents is that it would be difficult for them to reach even the COVID-19 dedicated hospitals as they are very far away.

“Neither do we have enough COVID-19 dedicated hospitals nor do we have adequate ambulance facilities to help move people from Old City to the hospitals allotted. A very large percentage of the population in Hyderabad lives in the Old City area, but still there is only one dedicated coronavirus testing centre," said Naseer Giyas, a researcher living in Old City.

Naseer added, “A very small fraction of people living in the Old City area have cars, the rest depend on public transport for getting to hospitals. Cabs and autos are refusing to ply in this area as the number of cases is very high here.”

Alarmed by the exponential increase in the number of cases, businessmen in many market areas in Old City, including Lad Bazaar, Pathergathi and Begum Bazar, have been voluntarily observing a lockdown even before the state cabinet takes a call on imposing a complete lockdown.

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