Covid-19: Municipal polls and its aftermath

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For representational purpose only

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Warangal: Alas, the folly of holding polls to the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) in the midst of Covid-19 rage is turning out to be a so...

Warangal: Alas, the folly of holding polls to the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) in the midst of Covid-19 rage is turning out to be a sort of disaster for those, who were associated with the electioneering. Aftermath the municipal polls, Warangal witnessed a steep curve in the number of coronavirus cases.

"Majority of the new cases reported in the last fortnight or so was due to electioneering. Those, who tested Covid-19 positive, have none to blame but to curse themselves. Take any poll rally; at least half of the participants seldom took care of Covid-19 protocol.

Either they were without masks or they moved in bunches without caring for physical distancing," a medical officer in Warangal Urban District told The Hans India, pointing to the big spike in pandemic cases.

The corona misery was not just confined to the politicos, but it also engulfed the officials engaged in the election duty as well. On the eve of polls (April 30), Municipal Commissioner Pamela Satpathy tested positive.

"Imagine the kind of workload – from delimitation process of Divisions to the counting of votes, this in addition to the regular duties at a time when Covid-19 was spreading its tentacles – the administration had faced," lamented a GWMC official, who don't want to be identified by his name.

On the other hand, tens of workers irrespective of their party affiliation engaged in poll campaigns in each Division are currently under home isolation or quarantine. In fact, eight Corporator-elects didn't attend the oath taking ceremony as they tested positive for Covid-19. They took oath of office through a video conference.

Some of the ruling party workers, who campaigned to their might in the elections, allege that there was no help from the leaders even though they were in dire straits after contracting Covid-19.

JWALA, an NGO working against corruption, founder Sunkari Prashanth said, "Without working on the repercussions, the government went with the elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs). As a result, there was a phenomenal spurt in the number of coronavirus cases in Warangal and Khammam.

Imagine the intensity of the campaign where as many as 502 candidates are part of it. Literally, the number of coronavirus cases multiplied compared to the days before the poll notification."

What it had gained with this election was arbitrary, but the government put itself in a grave situation.

The State-run MGM hospital, which is now Covid-19 special, is already overburdened with Covid-19 patients. The private hospitals are making a fortune fleecing the patients. A government in its right mind would have dealt the issue much better, he said.

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