Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is likely to impose more restrictions on the movement of people while continuing to allow the economic activity as part of the revised containment strategy for Covid-19, the second wave of which turned more fatal, claiming hundreds of lives in the state.
The Chief Minister will hold a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to ‘discuss the pros and cons of imposing lockdown’ amidst divergent views on the move and the adverse impact it will have on paddy procurement, according to an official press release. There were reports that suggested that cases did not decrease despite a lockdown while some sections were arguing in favour of imposing the shutdown, said the press release.
According to sources, the government was considering extending the curfew hours and total shutdown during weekends. While restrictions will be more in Hyderabad and other urban agglomerations, a liberal approach would be adopted in rural areas to ensure smooth transportation of paddy to the procurement centres.
The neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has clamped curfew from 12 noon to 6 am and the state for the first time saw a decline in the number of positive cases. There are different options on curfew timings and a final decision would be taken in the Cabinet meeting, a senior official said adding that there would not be total lockdown in the State as it would derail the economy which had been witnessing revival.
Meanwhile, in a major decision on Monday, the Chief Minister directed the police not to allow Covid patients from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to enter into the state as the city hospitals were clogged with ‘outsiders’. Ambulances were intercepted on all the inter-state borders and those patients who secured admission in city hospitals alone were allowed leaving many with no option but to go back to their respective places.
Defending the decision to seal borders for Covid patients, senior officials explained that the Centre had been allocating oxygen, vaccines and essential drugs on a pro-rata population basis. While the respective states are getting these supplies, people from those states have been consuming them in city hospitals depriving the local people of the same, said a health official.
Rao’s decision to explore the possibilities of imposing lockdown two days after dismissing it as an ineffective measure also comes in the wake of the Telangana High Court taking up hearing on Covid containment measures by the state government on Tuesday. The Opposition parties also stepped up their campaign for lockdown and Bharatiya Janata Party went a step ahead and accused the Chief Minister of appeasing Muslims by not imposing any restrictions in view of Ramzan....