Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, who was admitted to a local private hospital a couple of days ago, tested positive for coronavirus on Monday. Earlier, four of his personal security team members were found to be infected by the deadly pandemic and were sent for treatment and isolation.
Ali, who hails from Hyderabad city, is the first minister to have contacted the Covid-19 in the state even though at least four MLAs and a few other politicians were among those who confirmed positive for the infection in recent weeks.
Home minister's hospitalisation comes at a time the spread of coronavirus reached alarming proportions, particularly in the city, with several popular business localities voluntarily declaring look-down owing to a growing sense of fear among local traders and businessmen.
Along with the increased number of cases, which have been routinely touching 1000 a day in the past one week as the government ramped up the testing to 3000-4000 samples level, the reports about shortage of beds in private hospitals and the shortage of testing capacity only heightened the fear among citizens
The state government's daily bulletin on Sunday night reported 983 positive cases out of 3227 samples tested in the previous 24 hour period, indicating a 30 percent positivity rate or nearly one in every three persons being infected. At least 247 had died of Covid-19 in the state so far while the total number of positives stood at 14419 of them 9,000 being the active cases.
Hyderabad with a population of 10 million accounted for a major portion of Covid-19 cases as well as the number of deaths due to the infection in the state. However, the number of new cases has also been increasing out side the city as well. For instance, Warangal Urban, Warangal Rural and Manchiryal districts in north Telangana started registering new cases in double digits along with Medchal, Sangareddy and Rangareddy districts adjoining Hyderabad city.
Following a review meeting on the coronavirus situation, chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao said the government would take a decision on the proposal of reimposing the lock down for a brief period in the next 2-3 days time.
Apart from general public, medical staff in government hospitals, government employees and police personnel were also reportedly infected in large numbers. At least 180 of the the state police academy staff had testes positive for coronavirus.
After the government directing the infected patients with mild symptoms to undergo isolation and treatment at their respective homes in the past two weeks, the testing and tracing activity became ineffective leading to fear among people who have to live with the infected persons in their midst.
State health minister E Rajender on Monday reiterated that the government hospitals had enough beds to treat the patients and beds with oxygen supply was also being ramped up.