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Andhra Pradesh and the second COVID-19 wave

The Andhra Pradesh government has ruled out a lockdown as it gears up to face the second wave of the Covid pandemic that is spreading fast in the state.

Published: 17th April 2021 07:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2021 07:21 AM   |  A+A-

vaccine drive

A man getting vaccinated against COVID-19. (Photo | EPS)

The Andhra Pradesh government has ruled out a lockdown as it gears up to face the second wave of the Covid pandemic that is spreading fast in the state. The current situation doesn’t call for a lockdown but it surely demands extreme caution—something that has been thrown to the winds by politicians and the public alike.  None bothered about Covid norms whether it was during the campaign for the Tirupati Lok Sabha bypoll, slated to be held Saturday, or the Ugadi celebrations in Kurnool district or for that matter, during the local elections last month.

No wonder the positivity rate is increasing by the day. Currently, it stands at 6.08% with the state recording 6,096 cases, its highest one-day spike in six months, on Friday. The number of active cases is at a manageable 35,592 as is the mortality rate of 0.78%. However, the state, which was aggressive in testing, tracing and treating last year, needs to ramp up the same now. The number of samples tested was just around 36,000 on Friday.

The vaccination drive, on the other hand, was conducted admirably by administering 6.2 lakh doses on a single day, but the problem is the state has run out of stocks while even frontline workers are yet to be completely covered. The onus is on the Centre to supply states with adequate stocks at this critical hour. Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to his credit cancelled his public meeting in Tirupati but he now needs to galvanise the state apparatus to contain the virus spread for which steps must be taken to not only put in place the requisite infrastructure to deal with a further surge in cases but also ensure strict enforcement of Covid norms.

What is inexplicable is the government’s intention to go ahead with Intermediate examinations as per schedule. Class 10 exams are almost a couple of months away but the Inter exams are scheduled to begin in the first week of May. It makes eminent sense to defer if not cancel the exams and follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Telangana.



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