Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy has accused Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and Health Minister Etala Rajender of mishandling the Coronavirus situation in the State by not conducting the required number of tests to identify and treat the positive patients.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday, Narayana Reddy said that the Telangana Government violated the norms of World Health Organisation (WHO) and guidelines prescribed by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) which clearly asks a State to ‘Trace, Test and Treat’ the Covid-19 patients. “KCR Govt violated all the guidelines and still the Health Minister has been making fake claims that their efforts were appreciated by the Central Government and ICMR,” he said.
Reddy asked the Chief Minister to elaborate on the efforts made by his government to combat Covid-19. “Telangana State is being criticised by all the agencies, including the High Court, for having lowest testing rate. There is a strong suspicion that since Telangana followed the Wuhan’s path of hiding the real numbers and it might face the same consequences. The number of people tested is not only below the national average, but the lowest among all the States. What does effective handling of Covid-19 situation should mean? Should it be identification of patients and their treatment or something else? Unless you test a person, you cannot ascertain whether or not he/she is a patient. If he/she is positive then they can be admitted for treatment or quarantined. Without any tests, putting common people in poorly defined Containment Zones or Quarantined Centres will not help in combating the disease,” he said.
The Congress leader pointed out he has been raising the issue of lowest testing rate since beginning. However, he said that KCR Government never responded to the positive suggestions by opposition leaders. He said the ICMR has permitted more than nine private hospitals and laboratories to conduct Coronavirus tests. “KCR Govt neither utilised the testing capabilities of all government labs by 100% nor did it allow the private labs to conduct tests which would have increased the testing rate by more than double. As against a little over 19,000 tests conducted so far, nearly 3 lakh tests would have been conducted if both private and government labs were permitted to be function appropriately. However, the tests were curbed and even people with clear symptoms were refused tests. No tests were conducted on people who suspected to have died due to Coronavirus,” he said.
He also alleged that the daily figures of Coronavirus positive patients were being shared randomly like lucky numbers of “42” or “47” and they might not be true at all. He reminded that Coronavirus was a serious pandemic and not a game of numbers.
“CM KCR has pushed the lives of lakhs of people in danger. Calling a district ‘Corona free’ without conducting adequate number of tests is nothing but mass killing. Today except for Containment Zones, KCR has declared rest of the State as Green Zone. In that case, why the State Government has continued with the lockdown? Has KCR struck deal with Covid-19 that it will strike people from 6 am to 7 pm? Can CM KCR give a guarantee that there will be no recurrence of Corona in Green Zones?” he asked.
Reddy demanded that the State Government take corrective measures on war footing basis and scale up the testing rates. Further, he asked people to be extra-cautious as relaxations in lockdown without testing all the suspects might deteriorate the situation. He also welcomed the orders of the High Court which directed the Telangana Government on Coronavirus testing and hospitalisation.