Hyderabad: Ten more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Telangana, sad chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) on Friday.
With this, the total positive cases in the state now stand at 56. KCR assured farmers in Telangana that their produce will be sold locally, as government-run markets are closed and asked them not to panic.
“Electricity and water will be supplied non-stop without any interruption to all of the 50,000 acres of land under cultivation. The markets are closed, but we will arrange logistics to sell produce locally. Farmers do not need to stress too much. Milk and vegetables will be available and I am asking the public not to come out and not panic," KCR stated, while briefing the media over the ongoing lockdown imposed in the state.
With regard to migrant labourers in the state, KCR said that many of them work in rice mills and in the construction industry. “We are appealing to them (business owners) to take care of those workers and to give them their salaries and to also provide food. We have given orders to all district collectors to provide help to them as well and to treat them well," the chief minister stated.
On testing facilities in the state, KCR said that there are five government-run facilities and another one will be added soon, which will allow the state government to conduct 800 tests a day. He categorically said that the state will involve private sector only if that is not enough in the coming days. “We do not have enough ventilators as of now. I don’t want people to get cheated," KCR said.
The state government will try to ensure that community transmission of the virus doesn’t happen, said KCR.
On Thursday, the state government also began preparing to convert the 1000-bed government Gandhi hospital into space to only treat COVID-19 patients. All other patients are currently being shifted out to other state-run hospitals and the transition will happen in about a week’s time.
KCR also mentioned that the state government will ensure that people living in old age homes, orphanages and night-shelters will also not go hungry. “No one will go hungry, we will take care. In fact, at this time eating chicken and eggs will boost our immunity, so there is nothing wrong in eating meat. We do not have any major problem as of now. People should not go out in crowds," the chief minister warned.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, a fresh case of COVID-19 was also reported on Friday, taking the total to 11 in AP. The state government will also bring in an ordinance for vote on account budget for the three- month period up to 30 June for all departmental expenses in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy held a cabinet meeting and discussed the same in detail on Friday.
So far 11 positive cases are reported in the state and the number of foreign returnees were mapped at 28,000 and a constant vigil is being maintained on them and their contacts. Four hospitals, one each at Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Nellore have been converted into dedicated super specialty COVID-19 hospitals while 100-bed isolation centres are in place at (175) constituency level and 200-bed isolation centres at district levels are also being set up.
About 400 ventilators are in place and PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment) surgical masks for patient attendants along with N-95 masks are also available in required numbers and an order was placed for more equipment which will be delivered in a couple of days, said a press release from the AP government.