Telangana state’s testing strategy poses numerous questions on the containment of the novel coronavirus pandemic as the state has tested less than 19,000 samples, reporting a total of 1003 COVID-19 cases and 25 deaths till April 27. The testing rate is far lower than the neighbouring states.
On Monday, although Telangana reported only two new COVID-19 positive cases, the state has reportedly tested some 159 samples. Whereas, on the same day, the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh tested 5783 samples and reported 82 new positive cases increasing its total number to 1259 positive cases and 31 deaths due to the virus.
However, the Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao has stated that 21 districts out of 33 will be virus free by Tuesday. Whereas, Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the government “cannot eliminate the virus” and urged people to prepare themselves to live alongside the virus. Reddy has also stated that COVID-19 is not deadly and different from other infectious diseases. The CMs made the statements after attending a video conference with Prime Minister Modi alongside other states’ CMs.
On the issue of extending lockdown, reports suggest that the Telangana government is in favour of extending the lockdown even after May 3, Andhra CM has hinted over bringing normalcy in non-containment zones. Notably, both states have reported COVID-19 positive cases in all districts.
The contrasting stances of the CMs have left Telugus worried over the pandemic with many raising doubts on social media over the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Telangana state has been refusing to test patients for the novel coronavirus despite strong symptoms. According to News18, there have been “cases in the outpatient (OP) wards of the state-run Gandhi Hospital and King Koti Hospital being sent back and denied tests, despite developing strong symptoms”.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, a total of 7,16,733 samples have been tested across India till April 28, 9 am.
States urge Centre for special funds amid Pandemic
Despite numerous requests from both Telugu states for special funds to tackle the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has remained silent on the matter. States are worried over massive revenue losses due to lockdown.
While K Chandrashekar Rao has earlier stated that the state is witnessing an average revenue loss of over Rs 15,000 crore per month, Andhra Pradesh officials estimate that the state’s daily revenue has come down from Rs 165 crore per day to Rs 3 crore per day.
Also read: COVID-19: Patient Commits Suicide, Death Toll Reaches 20 in Karnataka