VIJAYAWADA: The chances of total lockdown are likely in AP with the surge in daily Covid-19 positive cases remaining above 20,000 and in view of more than 20% positivity rate in the second wave.
The state government had imposed a curfew for 18 hours per day from 12 noon to 6 am till May 18 towards containment of Covid-19, but the situation continues to worsen in the state.
The Group of Ministers would take up the issue of the need for complete lockdown at a meeting on Monday. The Chief Minister will also conduct a review on the day to decide on the tightening of the curfew norms, either by reducing relaxation hours or imposing full lockdown to contain the surge of Covid-19.
According to sources, earlier the Coronavirus infections were found to be higher in urban areas, but currently, the Covid-19 is swiftly spreading to rural areas. It would be a daunting task for the government to contain the pandemic in rural areas as the medical infrastructure is poor and inadequate.
The sources said that the government is considering imposing a full lockdown, allowing only medical, health, essential commodities and emergency services. Curfew may begin at 9 am or 10 am, reducing the hours of relaxation.
As many as 24,171 new Coronavirus cases were registered on Sunday, which is all-time record since the outbreak of Covid-19 in AP 14 months ago. Around 20,000 to 22,000 new Corona infections are being registered daily for the past few days, which has become a big worry for the government. The AP government imposed the curfew to control the spread of Coronavirus but the surge in cases is continuing every day, as huge crowds are mingling without following any Covid protocols such as wearing face masks or maintaining physical distance, during the relaxation window from 6 am to 12 noon.
The swift increase in Coronavirus cases is worryingly accompanied by a constant positivity rate of over 20 percent. The apex medical research body Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends a lockdown is compulsory if the positivity rate exceeds 10 percent. In 11 districts in AP, the average positivity rate remains above 20 percent, with Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and Anantapur districts facing more alarming conditions.
Further, adding to government worries are reports of the ongoing house-to-house fever survey. Alarmingly, 39,000 people have been found to be suffering from fever so far during the survey. Barring two to three districts, the remaining districts are facing pathetic conditions as new infections continue to surge.