Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced an extension of the ongoing lockdown in the state on Saturday. The lockdown will now last till April 30, over two weeks after April 14, when the nationwide lockdown is set to end.
The Chief Minister said that the state had recorded a total of 503 COVID-19 cases, up by 16 cases, as on Saturday. Among these, 14 have died and 96 have recovered, taking the count of active cases to 393. The government has identified 243 containment zones (123 under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and 120 under other jurisdictions).
KCR said that by April 24, all those who contacted the patients who had attended the conference in Delhi would be released from quarantine, following tests.
The Chief Minister added that students from Class 1 to 9 would be promoted.
Addressing the concerns of farmers, KCR said that the Irrigation Department would provide water until April 15 in view of the harvest season.
The decision to extend the lockdown was taken after a prolonged interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day regarding the COVID-19 crisis. In the meeting, KCR had urged the Prime Minister to extend the lockdown by another two weeks, as the disease is yet to be contained.
The Centre had imposed a 21-day national lockdown on March 25, to slow the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was supposed to continue till April 14.
Earlier this week too, KCR had suggested to the Prime Minister to extend the lockdown. He had said that the lockdown is the only weapon India has to fight the disease. â€śWe can revive the economy but not the dead. The human life is the most precious,â€ť the Chief Minister had said.
Meanwhile, on Saturday during the meeting with the Prime Minister, KCR had asked Modi to allow agriculture-based industries to function and aid the farmers.
â€śTo ensure farmers donâ€™t incur losses and there is no shortage of supply of essential commodities, the food processing industry should be allowed to function. The lifeline of our country is agriculture. It not only provides food to people, agriculture also is the source of livelihood to many. Itâ€™s not possible for any country to feed India with its 135-crore population.
â€śWe are self-sufficient as far as food grains are concerned. This situation should continue. We have to stand by the farmers who feed us,â€ť KCR had said.