Hyderabad: One more person died of Covid-19 in Telangana on Thursday, taking the toll in the state to 12. On the positive side, the state registered the lowest number of fresh cases in a week, with 18 new cases taking the total to 471.
But things are decidedly more serious now with the government designating 101 locations across the state as Covid-19 hotspots. This means that a strict containment policy will be in operation there: no one will be allowed to enter or exit.
On Wednesday 14 containment zones were declared in the state capital, Hyderabad.
However, health minister Etala Rajendar continued to stress the positive parts of a grim story: he said the dip in new positive cases is an indication the epidemic is now beginning to ebb.
A total of 414 patients are currently being treated at the Gandhi and King Koti government hospitals in Hyderabad. No less than 388 of them are either people who took part in a three-day religious congregation in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi from March 13-15, or those who came into contact from such a persson.
Rajendar said some of the Delhi returnees or their contacts will begin to be discharged in the next few days if they test negative at the end of their quarantine period.
Thosoe results were expected late Thursday night or Friday morning. The negative cases will be discharged. That number is expected to be 60-70 patients, Rajendar said.
Again on the opitimistic side, the quarantine period of all those who returned from Covid-19 countries will have ended on Thursday.
“From now on we hope we can keep discharging cured patients and that the state will be free of Covid-19 cases by April 22 or 23, provided no new cases crop up,” said minister Rajendar.
The last clause in the minister’s statement is crucial, and dependent on how successfully the authorities implement their containment policy in the hot spots they have declared.
Some 14 contnainment zones were declared in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits. These, the minister said, are small pockets where Covid-19 cases have been found. The authorities’ goal is to stop the disease from spreading outwards from these pockets.
Accordingly, the police heavily barricaded the containment zones declared in Hyderabad: Moula Ali, Pahadi Sharief, Panjagutta, Balapur, Malakpet Race Course Road, Khairtabad Bada Ganesh area, Chintalbasti, Ramgopalpet, Hasmathpet, Jagadgirigutta and Mallepally.
“The government sincerely appeals to those living in these containment zones to contact 104 or 108 services if they live in cramped homes. The government will shift such people to comfortable quarantine facilities where distance between people can be maintained so any possibility of disease spreading among them can be eliminated,” Rajendar said....