The opposition BJP and the
Congress in Telangana have slammed the TRS government for allegedly conducting less number of COVID-19 tests, a charge dismissed by the ruling party.
BJP chief spokesperson in Telangana K Krishna Saagar Rao, in a statement on Tuesday evening, demanded resignation of Telangana Health Minister Etela Rajender for "endangering the entire population of Telangana by intentionally conducting the lowest number of tests than any other state in India, with proportionate population."
The health minister has not only underperformed during the massive health crisis but also wilfully misled the people of the state, opposition and media by claiming the state was testing as per ICMR guidelines, he alleged.
His department was also not reporting the test data regularly as mandated by ICMR in the daily bulletins since many weeks, he claimed.
"BJP stands vindicated on the allegations it has been making with substantive data since weeks, that TRS government has been manipulating COVID19 infection rate in the state of Telangana since the beginning and more so after the second week of April," the BJP leader said.
"One cannot understand the intention of the state government behind this brazen deviation in reference to public health standard protocols," he said.
State Congress president and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy hit out at the Telangana government for allegedly not testing enough.
He claimed that the state was testing only 250 samples per day.
"TS (Telangana state) is conducting 652 tests/M while natl. avg is 1600.
Look at total tests done by TS & neighbouring states.
TS - 22,842, AP - 2,29,118, Kar- 1,40, 024, MH -2,61,783, TN - 3,26,720. TS is testing only 250 samples per day! Is T Govt policy- less tests mean less COVID cases !!, Uttam Kumar Reddy tweeted.
According to data released by the state government on May 17 as part of its daily bulletin, the cumulative number of samples tested as on May 16 was 23,388.
Out of that, 947 men tested positive, while 566 women were found positive.
It said 14,256 men tested negative, while 7,619 women tested negative.
According to official data (also furnished on May 17), as on May 14, Telangana carried out 22,842 tests, while 1388 positive cases were found.
Tests done to detect a positive case were 16 in Telangana.
However, ruling TRS MLC Palla Rajeshwara Reddy dismissed the criticism, saying the state government is following the guidelines, issued from time to time, by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Centre.
"The government of Telangana, the medical and health department, is following the ICMR guidelines and the Central Government guidelines.
Whenever, they give guidelines, we are following," he told PTI on Tuesday, when asked about the Congress' criticism.
The state government has been following the central guidelines vis-a-vis lockdown, testing and others, he said.
The TRS leader said different wings of the Central Government have been visiting continuously and monitoring the situation and expressed full satisfaction with regard to Telangana government's steps to contain COVID-19 spread.
Dismissing criticism that Telangana was not conducting enough tests compared to its neighbouring state (an apparent reference to Andhra Pradesh), Rajender said on April 28 that ICMR guidelines state that tests should be done on those who are symptomatic and not on those who do not show symptoms.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)