Forty-four people who tried to travel to their hometowns in Andhra from Hyderabad on Wednesday have been placed in quarantine centers.

Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 19:33

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday requested everybody from the state to stay put wherever they currently are and refrain from travelling. CM Jagan addressed the media on Thursday in the backdrop of the confusion which ensued after several people who were evicted from their accommodation in Hyderabad tried to cross the Telangana border to return to their hometowns in Andhra. 

“I feel bad that we have to stop our own people from returning to their homes. Yet, I humbly request people to avoid travelling across states, or districts or towns or villages within the state,” he said, stating that unless people were extremely careful, tracing contacts of people who have COVID-19 will become extremely difficult. 

After the announcement of a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, hundreds of people native to Andhra were evicted from hostels and PG (Paying Guest) accommodations in Hyderabad. Many such people set off to various districts in Andhra Pradesh after obtaining special permits from Hyderabad police to cross the state border

The Telangana government had intervened with hostel owners on Wednesday evening, asking them not to evict people. But by then, many people were already stranded at Garikapadu check-post on the state border due to miscommunication between Andhra and Telangana authorities. 

People were finally let into Andhra Pradesh after waiting for hours, and have now been placed in state-run quarantine centres for 14 days. As of Thursday morning, the state government said that 44 people who came from Telangana were shifted to a quarantine centre in Krishna District, with Revenue, Police and Medical Teams constantly monitoring their needs.

“Yesterday, we took in 44 people as we couldn’t refuse them. From Markapuram, Addanki and Kandukur, another 152 people were also taken in from a humanitarian perspective. It is now inevitable to keep them in quarantine for 14 days. We cannot send them home right away, as we don’t know if they’ve contracted coronavirus, in which case they could spread it to more people,” Jagan said, warning that people could endanger their families as well if they went home directly. 

Promising that state governments will take care of people’s needs, Jagan asked people to stay back wherever they currently are for three weeks. Anyone facing difficulties in terms of finding shelter or food can call 1902 for assistance from district officials, he said. He also assured people that essential commodities are sufficiently in stock. 

For families with income below the poverty line, rice and dal will be distributed from March 29, and on April 4, village and ward volunteers will hand over financial assistance of Rs 1,000, he said. 

Jagan also stated that the state is well equipped with hospital beds, ventilators and quarantine facilities. Village and ward secretariat staff and health workers will continue to survey houses to track people with symptoms, who will receive medical attention regardless of travel and contact history, and will be tested if necessary, he said.