T'gana: Political activists, others urged to stay in home isolation after taking part in civic polls

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Hyderabad, Dec 2 (PTI) Health authorities in Telangana on Wednesday urged activists and politicalleaders, public representatives and others who took part in the recent campaigning for the city civic polls to stay in home isolation for about a week to prevent the occurrence of a 'second wave' of COVID-19 cases as mass movement of people was seen during the campaign.

Noting that rise in cases has been seen in some foreign countries and also in states like Delhi in the country, state Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said Telangana would be no exception.

The state is experiencing cold conditions for the last few days and festivals have also been celebrated recently, besides the city civic poll held on Tuesday, he said.

Some festivals would be celebrated in the coming days.

Though the COVID-19 situation in the state is under control, precautions should be taken to ensure that it is completely under control, he said.

Observing that hundreds of activists conducted their campaign and mingled with people for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election, hesaid COVID-19 precautions were followed to a great extent.

However, mass movement of people is natural in elections and it is time now to take precautions as the coronavirus spreads due to gathering of people, he said.

'If we have to protect our city and state collectively from the second wave, those who came to campaign from across the statefor different parties, either activists or people or political leaders or public representatives, please be in isolation for the coming five to seven days. Put yourself in quarantine,' he told reporters.

He appealed to all such persons -- from public representatives to the activists at the grassroots -- to stay at home for five to seven days as they moved closely with others during the last one week or 10 days of campaign.

'Because, when you go to people, it is not known who has symptoms or who are silent virus carriers. Since it takes five to seven days for the symptoms to show and if you move out, you may infect family members or a new person when you go back to your places. So, this itself may turn into a second wave without us realising it,' Rao said.

During home isolation, they should follow precautions like wearing a mask and frequent hand washing, he said.

If anyone experiences symptoms, they should go to the nearest government healthcare centre and get tested, he said.

The government has made arrangements to test 65,000 samples every day.

Free COVID-19 tests are conducted at 1,096 government testing centres in the state, he said.

Additionally, 50 testing centres are now being added in the GHMC limits.

Citing information available with them, he said some some surge in cases is possible following the GHMC election.

Rao said arrangements have been made to provide oxygen facilities up to the level of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as per the directions of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Rao also said the 'dry run' of a software, designed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, concerning COVID-19 vaccine, when it was introduced, was being conducted in the state. A three-member team from the Centre was in the city over the issue.

The Centre selected Telangana and Rajasthan for the 'dry run', he said. 'It's not a vaccine dry run. It's a software dry run,' Rao said.

He said the positivity rate in the state was 1.1 per cent as seen on December 1.

The positivity rate was 23 per cent in June-July, but it was brought down to one per cent by conducting tests extensively, he said.

The recovery rate in the state was 96.03 per cent, while the national average is 94 per cent, he said.

The case fatality rate is 0.53 per cent in the state which is 1.5 per cent at the national level.

The bed occupancy rate (both government and private hospitals) in the state was 40.4 per cent in August but it has now come down to 11.9 per cent in November.

Almost 88 per cent beds (either government or private) are now vacant, he said.

The steps taken by the Telangana government towards controlling virus spread are moving in the right direction, Rao said.

Stating that infection spread is possible during people gathering in connection with the GHMC poll, state Director of Medical Education (DME) Ramesh Reddy stressed that early testing would help in early treatment and prevention of virus spread.PTI SJR SS PTI PTI