Making it clear that the state will not opt for a lockdown Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) said that there are no plans to impose a lockdown in the state as it will severely affect public life as well as the economy. KCR in his first review of the COVID-19 crisis with higher officials following his recovery from the infection further claimed that past experiences have revealed that the lockdown is not effective in controlling COVID-19.
According to KCR, Telangana is the most happening state, with about 25 to 30 lakh migrant labourers earning their livelihood, and their lives were ruined during the first spell of lockdown in 2020.
"If these people (workers) are dislocated once again, it will be a huge loss to the state as Telangana needs a huge number of workers during the harvesting season. What will happen to farmers (if they don't get labourers)? By imposing lockdown, the government itself would be creating havoc," an official release quoted KCR as saying.
However, the state government will take preventive measures such as setting up micro level containment zones wherever the number of cases are high, it noted. "Keeping in mind the past experiences, the state government has decided not to impose lockdown," it added.
The CM appealed to people to be self-disciplined and adhere to the COVID-19 rules to prevent the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, KCR spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone seeking the allotted quota of antiviral drug remdesivir to be released to the state immediately.
KCR said the state was receiving only 4,900 injections of remdesivir and the same has to be increased to 25,000. He also sought to enhance the oxygen supply to the state to 500 tonnes. Similarly, Telangana uses 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses per day and the supply of the antidote needs to be maintained from the Union government accordingly, he said.
KCR also spoke to Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who assured him of necessary supplies to the state. The CM has also spoken to pharma companies manufacturing Remdesivir and asked them to increase the supply. He said, as of May 6, 9,500 beds with oxygen are available in government hospitals and wanted 5,000 more to be added within a week all over the state.
The CM has instructed the Chief Secretary to make arrangements to airlift 12 cryogenic tankers from China at a cost of Rs 1 crore each for better oxygen supply. He said that 5,980 COVID-19 outpatient centres are created all over the state in PHCs, community hospitals and area hospitals and wanted people to utilise the services.
The CM wanted that a special officer should be appointed to monitor the measures to contain the spread of the virus in the state. He instructed that all those who took the first dose of the vaccine should be given the second dose on priority.
(With IANS and PTI inputs)