Congress Demands Free Covid-19 Testing For All In Containment Zones
Hyderabad, June 15 : Welcoming the decision of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to permit private hospitals and labs to test and treat Covid-19 patients, the Congress party described the move as ‘Too Little and Too Late’ in containing the spread of Coronavirus in Telangana State.
Speaking to media persons on Monday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy said the Chief Minister delayed the decision by about one-and-a-half month although the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had authorised 18 private hospitals and laboratories to conduct the Covid-19 tests in addition to nine government hospitals/institutions. He reminded that on April 6, he had appealed to the Chief Minister to issue local guidelines to permit private labs to test Coronavirus. “There were only 334 positive cases and 11 deaths on April 6. It took 69 days for KCR to wake up from slumber and today the tally stands at 5,000 positive cases, including 2,412 Active Cases and 185 deaths. Massive testing to trace the Covid-19 patients would’ve helped in their early treatment and we could’ve prevented the spread of Coronavirus and dozens of precious lives. But KCR tried to play the role of a medical expert and did not listen to any advice,” he alleged.
Narayana Reddy expressed concern over two TRS MLAs Muttireddy Yadgiri Reddy (Jangaon) and Bajireddy Goverdhan (Nizamabad Rural) testing positive for Coronavirus and prayed for their early recovery. He said that it was unfortunate that the Chief Minister’s negligent attitude has put the lives of public representatives in danger. Since testing was not done at a large scale, many Covid-19 patients were moving freely while spreading the deadly disease. He said the infection to both MLAs, staff members of Health Minister Etala Rajender, Finance Minister Harish Rao, GHMC Mayor B. Rammohan and others was the result of community transmission. “At least now, the Chief Minister should shun his arrogant attitude and accept the reality of community transmission in Telangana. This will make the people to be more alert and cautious. It is better for people to get panicked and stay safe than getting infected with Coronavirus in contentment,” he said.
The Congress leader said that the Chief Minister had permitted Covid-19 in private hospitals only to justify the admission of both TRS MLAs in corporate hospitals. “All Covid-19 patients were forced to get treatment only at Gandhi Hospital. Video journalist Manoj Kumar was not allowed to shift to a private hospital although he complained of lack of facilities in Gandhi Hospital which consequently led to his death. If KCR is so confident of better facilities at Gandhi Hospital, then let him direct his party MLAs to get treatment in the same hospital. Just to avoid criticism, the Chief Minister is now permitting the private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients which exposes his hypocrisy,” he said.
He said the entire population in all containment zones across the State, with or without symptoms, should be tested. Further, he said that the State Government should appoint an Epidemiologist as an Advisor to properly trace, test and treat the Covid-19 patients. He warned that a casual approach in dealing with the Coronavirus situation at this stage might prove too costly for Telangana State.
Narayana Reddy said that many experts have predicted a spurt in the number of Coronavirus cases in the next few weeks. Therefore, he said that the State Government should dedicate all its resources to fight the battle against Coronavirus. Life of each citizen of Telangana is highly precious and it should be saved at any cost, he said.