Hyderabad: With the novel coronavirus rapidly spreading across Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led state government is under-reporting the number of COVID-19 cases in its daily media bulletins, according to health activists. On August 21, the number of cases reported in the media bulletin were 2,474, as opposed to 4,325 cases reported across districts in the state.
As of August 23, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state were 1,06,091, with a total of 22,919 active cases and 761 deaths, as per the state government’s data.
The state government is consciously under-reporting the number of COVID-19 cases, said Bhupal, the state president of the United Medical and Health Employees Union, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). “The novel coronavirus is spreading in rural areas in the state but the state government is not even making efforts to contain it. Nearly 70% of the villages have reported COVID-19 cases and most of the patients are asked to self-isolate in their homes by the authorities,” he alleged. He added that government hospitals in the districts are overwhelmed with increasing cases and that the health infrastructure is insufficient.
While the state reported 882 cases in the first week of June, the number of COVID-19 cases between August 17 and August 23 was 13,836. Telangana conducted about 1.58 lakh tests last week, with the state in ninth position in terms of the total cases across the country.
According to a study by the Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), about 6.6 lakh people in Hyderabad (around 6.6% of the total population) may have been infected in just the last 35 days. The scientists reportedly tested sewage samples collected from various sewage treatment plants in Hyderabad. The study highlighted the fact that the actual number of infected people was much higher than the reported cases.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Telangana government has been criticised for low testing, by opposition parties and even the High Court.
“In terms of conducting tests or improving health infrastructure, Telangana is far behind when compared to neighbouring states such as Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh,” said Bhupal.
Telangana COVID-19 cases
Source: Data compiled from district medical authorities by medical employees and workers union.