COVID spread outside Hyderabad sends alarm bells ringing in Telangana

While Greater Hyderabad was recorded 80-90 per cent of the daily cases 15 days ago, the figures are now throwing a different picture.

Hyderabad: The rising COVID-19 cases in districts across Telangana over the last few days has left the authorities of the health department worried.

Amid warnings of a possible community spread and the alarming situation in the neighboring Andhra Pradesh, the surge in the virus spread outside the state capital and surroundings is posing a new challenge to the authorities.

While Greater Hyderabad was recorded 80-90 per cent of the daily cases 15 days ago, the figures are now throwing a different picture.

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Districts are now accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the daily jump in cases.

It is in this context that the alert sounded by the health authorities has assumed significance. Hinting at the possibility of community spread, they said next 4-5 weeks would be crucial.

Director of Public Health G. Srinivas Rao has urged people to be extremely careful for next 4-5 weeks to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has entered into the community. It’s hard to trace where and how the virus comes from and there is no other way but to take precautions,” he said

Director of Medical Education Ramesh Reddy has voiced concern over the virus spread in tier-II cities and towns in the state.

Local spread of the virus in certain pockets has sent the alarm bells ringing in the health department prompting the officials to warn that if no steps were taken, then the virus could affect everyone.

The officials say that the precautions by people could help check the spread. People have been advised to stay at home and if it is inevitable to go out they should wear masks, maintain physical distance and frequently wash their hands.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, which cover the core city and suburbs, witnessed a massive surge in Coronavirus cases after the easing of lockdown norms in May. Last month, there was a big spike.

The daily jump in cases touched almost 2,000 early this month. For instance, on July 8, the state reported 1,924 positive cases. Of these nearly 83 per cent were reported in GHMC. In the second week of the month, the number of overall cases came down by a few hundred but a new trend was visible as the number of new cases in GHMC came down while more number of new infections were reported from districts.

The state has 33 districts including Hyderabad. While Rangareddy, Medchal and Sangereddy districts bordering GHMC have also been witnessing the surge since early June, the daily case count in most of other districts were in single digit.

However, from July 9 more number of cases were reported from districts across all regions in the state. The surge was seen in towns like Warangal, Karimnagar, Khammam and Nizamabad. The rural areas too started reporting large number of cases.

Officials attribute this to the increased movement of people from GHMC to the districts. “People carried the virus from Hyderabad to other towns and villages,” an official said.

While GHMC continues to record the largest number of cases, its share in the new infections has been on decline for last two weeks.

On Friday, the state reported 1,567 positive cases with Hyderabad accounting for 662 cases (39.69 per cent). The day also saw the state’s tally crossing 50,000.

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