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Amid border incidents, AP CM asks people to "stay where you

Press Trust of India  |  Amaravati 

: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday appealed to people to "stay where you are" till April 14 as it was the only way to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, which he said happens once in a century.

"We can win (over coronavirus) only through self- discipline. If we are negligent, we will be paying a heavy price," he said in a televised address to the people.

His appeal came in the backdrop of the incidents on the AP-Telangana borders since Wednesday evening, where hundreds of people, who set off from neighbouring Telangana capital Hyderabad to their native districts in Andhra pradesh are stranded in view of the sealing of the borders.

People could not be allowed to cross the borders in view of the lockdown. "It's a nation-wide rule," he pointed out.

"Our people are trying to come into our state but the situation is such that we can't invite them with a smile. Diseases like corona happen may be once in 100 yearswhich we can't hope to see even once in a generation. So, we need to take some tough decisions," the Chief Minister noted.

He said the incidents (on the borders) since last evening were "heart-wrenching". "But, if we do not take tough decisions at the right time, it will be too late. If we don't confine to our houses, we can't contain the disease."

'Contact tracing' could prove extremely difficult if people were allowed to cross the borders and go home.

"If you are allowed, you could be a danger to your own family. It is inevitable that they have to be kept in quarantine for 14 days," he said.

The Chief Minister said about 150 people were permitted into the state at Markapuram, Addanki and Kandukuru (all in Prakasam district) as they returned from Hyderabad.

Another 44 were taken in at Garikapadu and shifted to a quarantine facility.

"I spoke to (Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao) KCR garu and he responded positively. He assured to take care of food and shelter of all people (from AP) in Hyderabad," Jagan added.

He requested people not to undertake inter-state or intra-state travel and "stay where you are" and not to resort to panic buying or hoarding of stocks as essential commodities were available across the state in adequate quantities.

Stating that 10 positive cases of coronavirus had been registered in AP so far, the Chief Minister said only through self-discipline could it be ensured that the cases did not rise.

"If we leave it, don't know where we go. So, self- discipline is the key. The government is taking all steps to tackle the situation," he said.

All the 27,819 persons who returned to AP from various countries in recent days were traced through a survey and kept under surveillance.

Four critical care hospitals have been opened in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Nellore and Tirupati with 2,500 beds and 475 ICU beds with ventilators.

For 'stable patients', 200-bedded hospitals have been readied in each district while another 100-bedded hospital facility was readied in each Assembly constituency for quarantine.

The Chief Minister said 213 additional ventilators were also kept ready in government hospitals.

A central helpline 1902 has been opened to address people's concerns related to non-medical needs (supply of essential items, etc.) during the lockdown period.

Principal Secretary M T Krishna Babu would head the state control room to redress people's grievances.

Control rooms were also opened in each district and the respective ministers would coordinate with the Collectors to address people's problems.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 26 2020. 19:42 IST