Hyderabad: Health department officials calling the attention of the public to the very serious Covid-19 crisis gripping Telangana appears to have caused some consternation in the government. Worried over how the tough messages being issued by officials are going down, the government appears to have launched a rearguard action to assure the people that there is no reason for fear or panic.
The government, from day one of the pandemic, had been maintaining that there was no reason to worry. If anything, it has been consistent in its messaging – that the 0.51 per cent or 9.56 per cent rate of case fatalities is nothing to worry about, and a majority of Covid-19 patients do not even know they caught the disease and barely 5 to 6 percent of them actually end up being hospitalised.
The fatality rates may be low, as claimed by the government, but the fact is when seen in actual numbers, this turns into 1,824 people killed by Covid-19 in Telangana in just over a year, at the rate of 140 a month since March last year. Some families have lost more than one member to the disease.
Over the past few days, Director of Health Services Dr G. Srinivasa Rao, who has been leading the fight on the ground against Covid-19, has spoken plainly and made it clear that the days ahead would be dark and dangerous, and unless everyone steps up to do their bit things may get out of hand.
He had also been vocal about how the disease is spreading through air more freely now than what was believed in the past and has made no bones about how the Covid-19 situation in the state is dire, and likely to get only worse over the next six to eight weeks.
In some ways, there appears to be some stark contrasts in the ways the government, and the health officials, have been speaking about Covid-19 of late.