To lift lockdown withdrawal syndrome haunts Andhra Pradesh governament

To lift lockdown withdrawal syndrome haunts Andhra Pradesh governament

Decision depends on determination of virus testing

Amaravati: Should the lockdown be continued in Andhra Pradesh? Is it safe to announce withdrawal of the same after April 14? Or, is it necessary to extend the same for two to four weeks? These are the questions confronting the AP government as it is plunged into the job of readying an exit plan.

The reason for the hesitation over the move is obvious. Like many other States, AP too just wants to get it straight whether the last positive case is seen. This assurance is vital for the administration, but it is not sure whether the household survey is done accurately and the statistics on hand now are worthwhile to consider the situation as improving.

With Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy insisting on 'each and every' household be effectively covered twice to ascertain the prevalence of corona, the emphasis now is on the same. Tests conducted between Monday 6 pm and Tuesday morning revealed that only one positive case was recorded out of 150 COVID-19 tests.

Still, this does not mean anything as it is not known how many secondary and tertiary contacts of Delhi returnees are to be tested. Authorities informed the Chief Minister that all primary contacts of Delhi returnees had been tested and no more are left. In all, 997 Delhi returnees have been tested so far out of which 196 turned positive. Again 2,400 have been tested as they had come in contact with the 196 one way or the other, or traveled with them or at least spent four hours with them after their return to the State. Again 84 tested positive among these.

In case of other foreign returnees, 205 travelers had been tested and 11 of these turned positive. Similarly, 120 persons who had come in contact with them were tested among whom six had been found positive.

Yet, random sample testing is not conclusive and it is also not confirmed whether all of the local contacts have been tested.

This is preventing the Government from concluding whether it is safe to go for relaxation of the lockdown. It is also not sure whether all those migrant labour, both local and non-local, in the shelters now are free of corona infection.

Only after the door to door survey is comprehensive and complete, will the government be able to confidently proclaim that the State is ready for withdrawal of the lockdown, one way or the other.

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