Member of Parliament (MP) from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday underwent a COVID-19 test to create public awareness in his constituency about the need to come forward and do the same.
While the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief was enroute to the testing centre, he told TNM, “I am going to the Charminar Unani Hospital to get an RT PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test for COVID-19. I am hoping that it will encourage more people to come forward and get tested.”
After the test, he tweeted, "Got my antigen & RT PCR tests done for COVID-19 today. My antigen test results were negative, Alhamdulilah. There are 30 odd centres in the South of Hyderabad where antigen testing is being conducted, I encourage all of you to not hesitate & get tested (sic).”
Got my antigen & RTPCR tests done for COVID-19 today. My antigen test results were negative, Alhamdulilah. There are 30 odd centres in the South of Hyderabad where antigen testing is being conducted, I encourage all of you to not hesitate & get tested! pic.twitter.com/lihGjG7upx— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) July 11, 2020
Earlier this week, on Thursday, the MP had visited the same hospital, commonly known as the Government Nizamia General Hospital to take stock of the situation. He had also visited the King Koti and Sarojini Devi Eye Hospitals where COVID-19 tests are being conducted.
Owaisi also spoke to Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender and urged him to increase RT PCR testing in each centre in the city to at least 1,000 a day. He appealed to the government to make Charminar Unani a ‘first referral’ hospital to ensure that COVID-19 patients have better access to healthcare.
The MP urged the minister to give wide publicity to free testing to encourage the public to get themselves tested.
"Currently, testing is mostly limited to primary contacts of patients. There is an urgent need to expand the net and ensure proactive testing by all," he tweeted.
The AIMIM President also urged people, especially those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and dialysis patients to get tested at the earliest, stating that testing would ensure their uninterrupted access to medical care.
Owaisi stated that 'hysterical and untruthful' stories about government hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in Telangana were creating a false picture in the minds of many and preventing them from seeking timely treatment. He said that this was very unfair to the excellent frontline staff of these hospitals.
The Greater Hyderabad region has been witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases for more than a month. It accounts for more than 70% of the 32,224 cases recorded in the state till July 10.