Hyderabad: Stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Telangana government on Thursday decided to identify those who had come to the state from abroad after March 1 and also extend the closure of cinema halls and other establishments till the month-end.
With a fresh case being confirmed on Thursday, the number of Covid-19 cases in the state has risen to 14, according to a media bulletin.
Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who held a meeting with ministers, senior officials and district collectors, said the countries which have taken tough measures are not facing a major problem tackling Covid-19. Those which did not take stringent measures, including Italy, Iran and even China initially, are now facing a major challenge, he said.
Rao said district collectors and police officials have been given clear directives to identify those who had landed in the state from abroad after March 1. Such people should voluntarily report to the authorities, he said.
Those who came from abroad and having symptoms of Covid- 19 would be referred to medical authorities.
Rao also said cinema halls, bars, pubs, clubs and others, which have been closed for a week earlier, would remain closed till March 31. The restrictions imposed earlier on certain establishments for a week have been extended till March 31, he said.
Public meetings, seminars, rallies and other such gatherings would not be permitted. Educational institutions and coaching centres would also remain closed, he said.
The government appeals to priests of all places of worship not to let people in in large numbers.
The best protection against Covid-19 is to avoid gatherings of people, Rao said.
The state government has cancelled Ugadi (Telugu new year) celebrations on March 25 and Sri Rama Navami celebrations on April 2 besides an Islamic event on March 22, he said.
A delegation of United Muslim Action Committee, led by AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, met Rao and extended support to the government in its effort to check the spread of Covid- 19.
Meanwhile, according to the official release, sanitation measures would be taken up extensively in public transport and in examination centres for ongoing Xth standard exams as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The state government has decided to set up 18 checkposts at its borders with neighbouring Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to identify those who travelled to foreign countries, Rao said.
He said all the 14 people who tested positive for the virus in Telangana had come from abroad. Not even a single person who resides in the state has tested positive.
Rao also said the Centre should have cancelled international flights by now. Why wait till (March) 22nd, instead of doing it today, he asked, adding that the virus is not India-born and that it spread to the country from foreign countries, he said.
He is reported to make an appeal on the matter in a video conference to be held with prime minister on Friday.
The Centre on Thursday had announced ban on all international passenger flights from March 22 to 29.
The 14 cases in Telangana include the first case of a techie who has been discharged from hospital after recovery, and the eight preachers from Indonesia.
The 14th positive case which was confirmed on Thursday was a person who came to Hyderabad from Dubai on March 16.
Two other persons with travel history to London were tested positive on the same day, and have been already admitted to isolation wards in the designated hospital since Wednesday.
Special teams of medical personnel visited houses around the patient's to check the possibility of spread of the virus....