COVID-19: Telangana to shut down for 24-hour; mulls over closure of borders with Maharashtra

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 21, 2020

File photo   -  REUTERS

Number of positive cases increases to 21 in Telangana

Even as the country is getting ready for Janata Curfew from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22, the Telangana Government has decided to shut down the State for 24 hours, beginning 6 am on March 22.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has asked shopping establishments to shut down businesses. All public transport services, including Road Transport Corporation buses, Metro trains and local trains, will confine to the depots and stations.

Small time milk vendors, vegetable sellers, medical shops, media persons and other essential services, however, will be allowed to operate.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the State has gone up to 21 by Saturday afternoon.

Stating that the Government is geared up to tackle any eventuality, the Chief Minister said the State was contemplating closure of the border with Maharashtra, where the number of positive cases is sharply raising.

“If need be, we will close all borders with all States. We set up 52 check posts along the borders to screen the people entering the State,” he said.

“If need be, we will not hesitate to shut down the whole State. This is an extraordinary crisis and we will spend any amount to take on this challenge,” he said.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he appealed to the people to cooperate with the administration and make the nation-wide Janata Curfew a success.

“This is in the larger interests of the country. We need to break the chain by confining ourselves to our homes,” he said.

Appeal to international passengers

Stating that about 20,000 people arrived in Hyderabad after March 1, he appealed to them and their kin to report all such arrivals to the Government.

“We have formed 5,274 teams to trace all of them. We have so far identified 11,000 such passengers and kept them under supervision in home quarantine. They are being visited twice a day,” he said.

“Tests were conducted on 700 suspect cases. We will take care of hospitalisation costs of people. We have placed an order for 500 ventilators,” he said.

He advised the people with Corona symptoms to stay home and not venture out.

Task force

The Chief Minister sets up a task force under the leadership of Health Minister Eatala Rajender. The expert team would constantly study the global developments and advise the Government on steps to be taken to ward off the virus.

Tests CCMB

Meanwhile, the Union Government has agreed to conduct COVID-19 sample tests at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). It is estimated that it can conduct 1,000 tests a day.

“We don’t know how the situation will pan out. We should be prepared for any eventuality,” the Chief Minister said.

City getting ready

The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad as people are staying back home on COVID-19 concerns. The city roads wears a deserted look, with bulk of vehicles are off the roads.

The people are getting ready for the nation-wide Janata Curfew with grocery stores witnessing increased footfalls.

Though the Janata Curfew’ call is meant for Sunday, thousands of people chose to stay home from Saturday itself.

Published on March 21, 2020

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