Congress asks TS Govt to clarify on reports of total lockdown

Hyderabad, April 26: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Monday demanded that the State Government give clarity on reports/rumours of imposition of total lockdown in Telangana State from the first week of May.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement, said that the State Government has miserably failed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Telangana. “Record number of fresh cases and deaths are being reported every day and the situation is going out of control with every passing hour. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has failed to foresee the outbreak of the second wave although the first wave and subsequent lockdown completely shattered the State’s economy. When almost all affected countries witnessed the second, third and even fourth wave of Covid-19, why Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM KCR failed to foresee a similar situation in the country, including Telangana? They did nothing in the last one year and today we are losing thousands of our citizens to Covid-19,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the BJP Govt at the Centre was reportedly planning to impose a total lockdown from 2nd or 3rd May. Although PM Modi has clearly stated that lockdown should be the last resort, people cannot trust his words. Similarly, CM KCR, Health Minister Eatala Rajender and other officials have been making claims that there would be no night curfew in Telangana. But the night curfew was imposed without giving any advance notice. Therefore, he demanded that the State Government consult the Centre to get clarity on the proposed lockdown. “The Central and State Govt should give clarity to the people on the lockdown. In order to avoid panic, the government should mention clearly if it proposes to impose any lockdown,” he said adding that people, especially the poor and middle-class will get some time to prepare themselves for the situation.

He said migrant labourers have already started leaving for their native places. This will impact agriculture, production and other industries. Therefore, the government should clarify whether or not it was imposing lockdown.

Further, Shabbir Ali welcomed the remarks made by Madras High Court on the Election Commission of India holding it responsible for the second wave of Covid-19. He said that the High Court has rightly observed that EC officials could be booked for the murder of people who got infected with Covid-19. He said the same observation was applicable for Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC), which is adamant about holding municipal elections at the peak of the second wave of Covid-19. He said that the TSEC was acting under the pressure of CM KCR and the ruling TRS party and it was not willing to postpone the elections to a later date. “Congress leader K. Jana Reddy is all set to win the Nagarjuna Sagar by-elections. Therefore, TRS fears that it would lose any elections held after May 2. For the same reason, it was forcing the TSEC to conduct civic polls on April 30. TRS will be remembered in history for building a political empire on human corpses. People will also remember TSEC officials not as independent individuals, but puppets into the hands of ruling TRS,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shabbir Ali welcomed the decision of the State Government to fill 755 posts in the Health Department in view of the second wave of Covid-19. However, he said all 755 posts, including 144 doctors, were being appointed on a Contract/Outsourcing basis. “This is not acceptable. The State Government should work out permanent measures to overcome the crisis. We are now witnessing the second wave of Covid-19. Many developed countries have witnessed up to four waves. We must be fully prepared in terms of equipment, beds, supply of oxygen, medicines, ventilators and personnel to deal with future crises. We cannot expect to overcome the crisis by making ad hoc arrangements,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said that the Active Covid cases in Telangana has crossed 65,597 on Monday. Therefore, the situation is highly alarming. “Many experts have pointed out that the actual number of Covid cases were at least five times than those being disclosed by the officials. The Central Government is allegedly forcing the States to hush up the real figures. Even if the official figures are trusted and the cases continue to rise at the same pace for the next one week, then there will be no beds available for any patient,” he said.

“The Health Department has claimed that there were 25,731 vacant beds, including 8105 in government and 17,626 in private hospitals. As per the Department of Health, Medical & Family Welfare, the vacant beds include 15,243 Regular, 7052 Oxygen and 3,436 Ventilator/CPAP. Therefore, the State Government should take measures, both in short and long terms, to deal with the situation,” he said.

Shabbir Ali also demanded that the State Government include Covid-19 treatment in the Aarogyasri Scheme. Further, he said that the State Government should provide 100% reimbursement to patients who already got treatment for Covid-19 in private hospitals.

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