Telangana on Saturday reported the second case of coronavirus in initial testing in a Hyderabad man who came back from Italy, prompting the government to sound a high alert in the state.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced in the assembly that the first person who tested positive for coronavirus in the state was discharged on Friday night from Gandhi Hospital.
The 24-year-old software engineer underwent treatment for the mandatory 14-day period at the hospital.
“However, on Saturday morning, the hospital reported a fresh case of coronavirus in a person who returned from Italy. He has tested positive for the virus and has been kept in isolation,” KCR, as the chief minister is called, said.
The man showed signs of Covid-19 in initial testing and is yet to be confirmed by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.
“Two more patients with coronavirus symptoms have also been admitted to the isolation ward of the hospital and their samples have been sent to Pune for testing,” he added.
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The chief minister announced the state cabinet would meet in the evening to take a call on the steps to be taken for preventing the spread of coronavirus in the wake of the prevailing situation across the country and the world.
He hinted that the ongoing budget session, which is originally scheduled to continue till March 20, might be cut short in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The cabinet might also take a decision on closure of schools, cinema theatres and malls for a few days as a preventive measure.
“The neighbouring states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha have shut down educational institutions, industries and other public places to avoid the spread of the disease. A high-level meeting under the auspices of chief secretary Somesh Kumar would discuss the steps to be taken in the state and give a report to the cabinet which would take a call on this,” KCR said.
The chief minister said though there was no major threat of coronavirus in Telangana as of now, the state could not remain isolated when the entire world was facing the threat.
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“Hyderabad is the sixth-largest metropolitan city with vibrant life. We have one of the busiest airports in the country with high traffic density. People from various parts of the country and world come to Hyderabad every day through flights, trains, buses and other means of transport. That is why we need to be more cautious,” KCR said.
He said as many as 200 medical experts had been positioned at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad to screen travellers from abroad and whoever was found with symptoms were being sent to the hospitals for isolation and testing.
“We are prepared to spend even Rs 5000 crore to tackle the coronavirus scare. Instructions have been issued to the authorities to ensure that there is no shortage of supplies of masks and other protective gear, besides medicines and other facilities at isolation wards,” KCR said.
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Telangana producers’ council, which met in the city on Saturday, took stock of the situation in theatres across the state, which are witnessing reduced footfall in the last few days.
“We are ready to close down the cinema halls, if there is any direction from the government,” film chamber president and former member of Parliament M Murali Mohan said.
There have been two deaths due to coronavirus in the country and more than 80 people have tested positive for Covid-19 so far.