Hyderabad should be placed under lockdown once again to slow the spread of coronavirus, a team of medical experts have recommended and a decision will be taken in three to four days, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said on Sunday. The Chief Minister, popularly known as KCR, said there was no need for panic about the rising number of COVID-19 cases and all arrangements are in place to offer treatment to the poor.
"Medical and health departments made proposals that the re-imposition of lockdown in Hyderabad is good. But re-imposition of lockdown will be a very major decision. Government machinery and people should be made ready for this," an official statement from the Chief Minister's Office quoted his as saying.
Hyderabad has reported a spurt in coronavirus cases, crossing the 10,000 mark, as the government relaxed some of curbs introduced in March as part of a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. On Saturday, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for 888 of the 1,087 new cases reported in Telangana.
If lockdown is re-imposed, it must be implemented strictly, KCR said, adding that there will be a day-long curfew with a one or two hour window to buy essentials.
"Let us examine the situation keenly for two to three days. If need be, cabinet will be convened to discuss proposals for the lockdown, alternatives and other related issues and a decision will be taken," he added.
The announcement comes after a high-level review meeting on Sunday on containment of COVID-19 and treatment available for the patients, strategy to be implemented in future and other related issues. Medical and Health Minister Etela Rajender, Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao, and doctors attended the meeting.
"Compared to the national average, the death rate in Telangana state is less. There is no need for fear. Necessary treatment is given to positive patients. We have kept thousands of beds ready in both government and private hospitals and colleges. Patients who are in critical conditions are treated in hospitals. Asymptomatic patients are given treatment at their homes," Mr Rajender said.
Several medical and health officials and medical experts are asking for another 15-day lockdown under the GHMC limits, the minister said.
Telangana on Saturday reported a single-day high of 1,087 new COVID-19 cases, taking the overall tally of infections in the state to 13,436. Six deaths were reported, taking the count to 243, according to a state government bulletin.