Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, was among those first few leaders who supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for lockdown. Everything seemed to be under control until Unlock-1 came into force. Telangana, now stands just right above Bihar from the bottom in conducting Corona tests (per million). Though the opposition — Congress and BJP, launched a scathing attack on the state government and urged it to ‘Trace, Test and Treat’, the government failed to heed their requests. Also, the High Court orders over low testing have fallen on deaf ears.
Result? Now Telanagana has the country’s highest positivity rate, according to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). What has changed within a few weeks? Following criticism from all the quarters, the state government has ramped up testing. Earlier, the government had conducted a meagre 500 tests per day out of which 150-200 people tested positive for virus.
KCR has declared that the government would conduct 50,000 tests in 10 days in GHMC limits (Hyderabad and surrounding areas). However, the government has failed to reach the target and has tested over 30,000 samples. As compared to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana is lagging behind in conducting tests. Also, there are allegations that the state government is threatening the private labs against ‘revealing’ the actual figures. Initially, the government had confined to treat COVID patients at Gandhi Hospital. Doctors at the hospital protested against the state government for not decentralising COVID cases.
Following this, the government has allowed private hospital to admit and treat COVID patients. However, making most of the opportunity, private hospitals have started ‘looting’ the public in the name of treatment. Recently, a woman doctor, who tested positive for the virus, alleged that a private hospital charged her ₹1.15 lakh for one-day treatment of COVID. She also claimed that the hospital authorities detained her for not paying the bill. However, government officials concerned swung into action and came to her rescue, in an attempt to control the damage.
Also, a journalist working with a Telugu News Channel, who succumbed to COVID, in a text message to one of family members, complained, “ICU is not good. Please, let’s go to a private hospital. No one is taking care here.” That’s not just one. Another youngster, who also succumbed to the virus, in the purported selfie video sent to his father, alleged negligence in the treatment.
The Health Minister Eatala Rajender however denied any wrongdoing on part of the government and said that some people are doing it to tarnish the government’s image. Also, the state government has extended lockdown in the containment zones till July 31. However, the containment zones are ‘government secret’. This clearly violates the Central government order to demarcate containment zones and make them public.
But where is the Chief Minister? After 20 employees in Chief Minister’s official residence—Pragathi Bhavan—tested positive for the virus, the Chief Minister, along with his family, has shifted to their farmhouse on the city outskirts. The Chief Minister was last seen on former Prime Minister Late P. V. Narasimha Rao’s birth anniversary celebrations. KCR’s sudden disappearance from the public has raised many eyebrows. On the other hand, the opposition Congress leaders are demanding reasons for KCR’s ‘sudden disappearance’.
Whatsoever be the reason, by the time the state government started to act swiftly, the situation was out of hand. Now things are only going to get worse!