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Covid-19 Community Spread Has Started in Telangana, Precaution Necessary as Coming Weeks Crucial: Health Official

People line up to buy grocery during lockdown as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 in Hyderabad, Telangana. (AP Photo)

People line up to buy grocery during lockdown as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 in Hyderabad, Telangana. (AP Photo)

However, he said people need not panic and appealed to them to take precautions before stepping out as the next four-five weeks would be crucial for the state.

Coronavirus has entered the community in Telangana and the public should take all precautions against the pathogen as the coming weeks will be crucial, a senior health department official has said.

"Early identification and treatment of Covid-19 are twothings we should be doing because this virus has entered the community.. it is not visible how it is (spreading) and whereit is," State Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said.

However, he said people need not panic and appealed tothe them to take precautions like wearing a mask before stepping out, maintaining physical distance and hand-washing as the next four-five weeks would be crucial for the state.

The tally of Covid-19 cases in the state crossed 50,000-mark on Thursday with 1,567 new additions. The toll climbed to 447 after nine more people succumbed to the virus.

Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Rao said themortality rate due to Covid-19 was less than one per cent in Telangana. "A look at the situation in all other states in the country shows that Telangana is much better. I am saying thisstrongly because the mortality rate in our state so far is 0.88 per cent. That means, it is less than one per cent. Mortality rate in the country on average is 2.5 per cent…," he said.

The one per cent of the deceased include old people and those with comorbidities, he noted. Observing that 3.08 lakh tests, including RTPCR and rapid antigen, had been conducted till Wednesday, he said the tallyof positive cases stood at 49,259 while 37,666 have recovered.

Noting that two lakh rapid antigen kits obtained earlierby the state government have almost been used, the official said another two lakh are likely to be procured. About 15,000 tests are being conducted daily at present and all arrangements have been made to increase the number to20,000 and even 25,000, if necessary.

Claiming that testing facilities have been taken closerto people, he said the rapid antigen tests are conducted in PHCs in rural areas and also other hospitals, and 290 centresin Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

As adequate beds are available in government hospitals,people need not waste their time and money by visiting private hospitals, he added. Rao said only three-five per cent of patients suffer from serious problems that too elderly people and those withcomorbidities.

He asked the public not to have any unnecessaryapprehensions over Covid-19. While personnel of health, police and municipaladministration are working in the frontline risking their lives, people should also take precautions to check the virus,he said.

Asked whether treatment for Covid-19 would be included inthe state government's Arogya Sri health scheme, Rao sought to know why it should be included when the government has made elaborate arrangements for the treatment.

first published:July 24, 2020, 17:50 IST