Congress, BJP hit out at Telangana govt over COVID-19 tests

Hyderabad: The Congress hit out at Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao alleging low COVID-19 testing in Telangana while the BJP demanded rapid tests to identify people infected with the deadly virus in the state.

Uttam Kumar Reddy, Telangana Pradesh Congress Chief (TPCC) chief said that the Telangana government is showing an extraordinary reluctance to do more tests.

“They are also making a political statement saying ‘We will not test more, what will you do’ which we find is ridiculous. A small state as Delhi has done 40,000 tests while Haryana has done more tests. Comparable population states such as Gujarat and Orissa have done much more. Most of all, our neighbour Andhra Pradesh, which has marginally higher population, has done 90,000 tests, whereas Telangana has done only 19,000 tests. We have been appealing to the government to do more tests,” Reddy told ANI.

He said that the Chief Minister cannot give self-certificates about districts free from COVID-19 when there no tests were done.

“Why the government has passed orders that where ever in a remote area or districts when people die out of illness or some sickness they are saying that they should not be tested for corona, which is surprising. There were orders given to the doctors to not test. They are doing less testing to keep the number low. We think this is not the right approach,” the Congress leader said.

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Attacking the Chief Minister, Reddy said: “Our Chief Minister has been going about this whole corona issue in a very unscientific and illogical way. Just before the lockdown, he said if Corona comes, just take paracetamol and it will go away, then he said there is no need to wear masks. He also said in the assembly that his friend, who is a scientist, had told him if the temperature crosses 22 degree Celsius the coronavirus will not survive. All of which were found to be irrational and unscientific statements.”

BJP MLC Ram Chander Rao said the KCR government should come up with a proper plan to tackle coronavirus in the state.

“The WHO and the ICMR laid down guidelines to contain the COVID 19. The Central government also come up with certain guidelines which all the state governments should follow. The Telangana government promised to follow all the guidelines set but they are not following them. They are not going to reveal their plan, how to control COVID 19 in Telangana,” he said.

“There should be a systematic plan on how the COVID patients will be identified. Where and how will the tests be done? Where will they be put for treatment? The Telangana government is not able to come up with any foolproof policy to control the COVID-19,” the BJP leader said.

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Elaborating on the importance of rapid tests, Rao said: “The Telangana government is not doing any rapid tests. Rapid tests are necessary to identify who is affected with virus and who came in contact with positive patients. But the state government openly said that they are not going to conduct the rapid tests. The Telangana government, like West Bengal, is trying to downplay the COVID-19 influence on the state. We told IMCT that we are doubtful about figures released by the Telangana government.”

Congress leader Reddy also demanded that the amount of financial assistance being provided to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, who have got ration cards, should be increased from Rs 1,500 to at least Rs 5,000.

He said that the failure of the state government to procure crops has pushed farmers into distress.

“CM KCR said he has allocated Rs 30,000 crores to buy every grain but we do not know where those 30,000 crores have gone. But there is very little actual procurement taking place and farmers getting money, which is leading to a serious distress situation. We once again appeal to the Telangana Government to come to the rescue to the farmers,” Reddy said.

He said that his party will interact with farmers and will also visit procurement centres.

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