Vijayawada/Guntur/Kurnool/Kadapa: The good news from Andhra Pradesh is that last week's spurt in fresh coronapositive cases seems to be ebbing: one death due to Covid-19 and 24 fresh positive cases were reported on Saturday.
These numbers are down from the sudden spurt in fresh cases seen last week, after the discovery of the super spreaders from the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin in Delhi.
The toll due to Covid-19 in Andhra Pradesh now stands at seven and the number of positive cases at 405.
However, the worrisome news is that the new positives are no longer on account of the Tablighi Jamaat contacts, but possibly cases of local transmission of the virus. This keeps alive the possibility that the virus is now being passed along by local transmission.
The fatality reported on Saturday was of a 51-year-old person, a resident of Dachepalli in Guntur district, who was being treated for tuberculosis for two months by a private practitioner. According to DSP K. Srihari, the man had no travel history. He was an electrician. Very likely, he acquired the infection as a secondary contact. His own contacts are now being traced.
Seventeen of the fresh cases as well as the death were registered in Guntur district. Kurnool recorded five fresh cases and Prakasam and Kadapa one each.
Kurnool tops the state with 82 Covid-19 cases, followed by Guntur 70, Nellore 48, Prakasam 41, Krishna 35, Kadapa 30, West Godavari 22, Chittoor and Visakhapatnam 20 each, East Godavari 17 and Anantapur 15.
Police are investigating the contact history of the Guntur fatality. DSP Srihari said 13 primary contacts of the man, including eight family members, have been identified so far at Narayanapuram in Dachepalli Mandal in Guntur district.
The primary contacts have been shifted to quarantine and samples are being tested.
Similarly in a worrisome vein, Guntur collector I. Samuel Anand Kumar said police are inquiring into the death of two other Covid-19 patients who had no history. These took place in Guntur district as well, one at Narasaraopet and the other at Dachepalli.
In Kurnool district, the second big corona district in AP, the new cases continue to be Tablighi Jamaat linked. Of the five new cases recorded in that district, four were of those who returned from the religious congregation in Delhi or their primary contracts. The Anantapur virology department sources said 272 samples from Kurnool district are yet to be processed.
The Kurnool district admin is deeply worried about becoming a hotspot for the disease. Collector G. Veerapandian has closed down all shops including medical shops and essential supplies in the district HQ. Chicken, mutton and fish stalls have also been shut down because that's where people were still gathering. Municipal officials in Kurnool and Nandyal towns have taken up intensive sanitisation in the worst-affected areas.
State health authorities have directed registered medical practitionenrs (RMPs) not to treat patients suffering with symptoms like cold, cough and fever. They have to refer them to the nearest government hospital and alert the hospital authorities or local volunteers about such patients.
Health special chief secretary K S Jawahar Reddy said only emergency cases would be attended to in both government and private hospitals. He said the specially set up out-patient wards with a separate entrance would work from 9 am to 2 pm....