Making it clear again that lockdown will not be imposed in Telangana, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday said such a move would bring life to a standstill and would lead to total collapse of the economy.
Chairing the first meeting following his recovery from Covid-19, he said that he took this decision after examining the situation in the states where the lockdown was imposed and where the positive cases have not come down as well as taking into account past experiences.
“There is no use imposing lockdown. Since Telangana is the most happening state in the country, 25 to 30 lakh workers from other states are working here. We have seen how their lives were adversely impacted by the lockdown we imposed during the first wave. If they are dislocated, they will not come back,” he said.
“Moreover, there is bumper yield of paddy in the state. Paddy is stocked in 6,144 procurement centres in the state and they are weighing it. Purchasing paddy is not a simple process. There are lakhs of people involved in the process. What will happen to the workers who came from other states and are working in the rice mills? What will happen to them if there is lockdown? If the workers go helter-skelter, how would one get them back,” he asked.
“At the same time, we cannot stop the supply of essential commodities, milk, vegetables, fruits, emergency medical services, deliveries, sanitation and other such emergency and essential services. We are also importing from other states, vaccines, medicines, injections etc… these will be affected if the lockdown is imposed. If the lockdown is imposed, the government will become responsible for creating a panic situation. Hence, the government is not ready to impose lockdown. However, we will identify the areas where the cases are more and declare them as micro level containment zones and take the required measures,” the CM said.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone and urged him to supply the required vaccines, oxygen and Remdesivir to the state.
He brought to the notice of the PM that the oxygen supplies allocated to the state from Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and Bellary in Karnataka have not been supplied so far.
KCR said since Hyderabad became a medical hub, people from nearby states are also depending on it for their treatment. He told the PM that 50 per cent of Covid patients in Hyderabad are from other states and this had an adverse impact on the availability of oxygen, vaccines and injections like Remdesivir.
He said the current availability of oxygen is 440 tonnes per day and it should be increased to 500 tonnes. The availability of Remdesivir is only 4,900 units and it should be increased to 25,000. He said the Centre had so far gave only 50 lakh doses of vaccine and it should also be increased based on the needs of the state. The CM requested the PM to ensure the supply of 2 to 2.5 lakh doses of vaccine per day and it should be supplied immediately.
Later, Union Minister Piyush Goyal spoke to the CM and assured him that oxygen would be supplied from the eastern states, instead of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The CM spoke to the companies manufacturing Remdesivir and asked them to increase the supply. He said, as on date, 9,500 beds with oxygen are available in government hospitals and wanted 5,000 more to be added within a week all over the state.
He also instructed the Chief Secretary to make arrangements to airlift 12 cryogenic tankers from China at a cost of Rs 1 crore each for the better oxygen supply.
He said that 5,980 Covid outpatient centres are created all over the state in PHCs, Community hospitals and area hospitals and wanted people to utilise the services.
The CM wanted that a special officer should be appointed to monitor the measures to contain the virus spread in the state. He instructed that all those who took the first dose of the vaccine should be given the second dose on priority.
KCR directed medical and health officials to purchase 500 oxygen enrichers. He suggested that more number of enrichers should be added immediately and wanted setting up of system that generated oxygen in a short time.
The CM said that the reports suggested the intensity of the second wave of coronavirus would come down by May 15. He wanted people to take precautionary measures to curtail the virus and they asked them to exercise restraint by themselves.
He advised people not to move in crowds, more than 100 should not attend the marriage ceremonies, frequently use sanitisers, wear masks and maintain physical distance at all times. Such precautions would only prevent the virus spread, the CM said.