Telangana: With night curfew ending today, will lockdown be imposed?

On Thursday, Telangana high court sought the state government’s plan on extending the night curfew or imposing a full-lockdown.

Hyderabad: With the night curfew imposed by the Telangana government to effectively control rising COVID-19 cases in the state ending on Friday (April 30), speculations are on the rise that a lockdown could be imposed.

The COVID-19 cases in Telangana does not show a declining trend, but is fluctuating. 7,646 new infections and 53 deaths are recorded on Monday, the health department said in a bulletin. This is a slight dip from Thursday’s numbers of 7,994 cases and 58 deaths.

On Thursday, Telangana high court sought the state government’s plan on extending the night curfew or imposing a full-lockdown in curbing the rise in COVID-19 cases. The high court bench, headed by chief justice Hima Kohli, also expressed its indignation over the state government’s habit of taking the important decisions at the eleventh hour.

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Advocate General B.S Prasad informed the high court bench that the chief secretary Somesh Kumar would hold a meeting with district collectors and others on Friday morning, after which a decision would be taken based on the inputs shared.

But, the state government authorities had repeatedly reiterated that a full-lockdown is ruled out, considering several issues. On Wednesday, director of public health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao issued a statement clarifying that the health department had not recommended to the state government to impose a lockdown.

Besides, state home minister Mahmood Ali too said that the government was not in support of a lockdown as it would cause hardship to the poor. He said that the chief minister will take a decision on Friday, based on recommendations of the health ministry.

But local reports stated that Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) authorities have begun making arrangements, hinting at a lockdown. As a part of this, they are shifting homeless footpath dwellers and beggars to night shelters.

A source in the GHMC said that it is only a precautionary measure to be ready if at all the government imposes a lockdown.

Tamil Nadu on Thursday too extended night curfew and Sunday lockdown imposition ‘until further notice’. As the caseload of Telangana is lesser compared to its worst-hit neighbours Maharashtra and Karnataka, it is unlikely that a full-lockdown would be imposed.

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