AP CM rules out clamping fresh lockdown in state

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Amaravati, Apr 16 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday ruled out clamping a fresh lockdown in the state, despite the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave, to ensure the economic activity did not get imperilled.

Addressing a videoconference with all District Collectors, the Chief Minister remarked that this was a troubling time, but 'we have to contain COVID-19 without imposing a lockdown'.

'We have seen last year how the financial situation was wrecked due to lockdown and how people suffered.

That should not recur.

Hence, to ensure that the economic activity does not get jeopardised, we are not going to have another lockdown,' the Chief Minister stressed.

(During a high-level review meeting last week, the Chief Minister said AP suffered a financial loss of Rs 21,000 crore due to the pandemic last year.

'If the situation leads to a fresh lockdown, our financial system will be fully damaged,' Jagan had warned).

The Chief Minister said that vaccine was the weapon now available to beat coronavirus.

'So, you people must focus on containment without the need for a lockdown.

Focused testing of the primary contacts of COVID-19 positive persons is essential,' he said.

The Chief Minister maintained that vaccination was the permanent solution (to the pandemic), but lamented that it was not in their hands as the Centre was controlling the entire process.

'Be it production of the vaccine or distribution...Centre is the total regulatory authority.

Our government is making all efforts (to get adequate vaccines) so that maximum number of people could be inoculated,' Jagan said, referring to the vaccine scarcity being faced by the state.

He asked the Collectors to crack the whip on private hospitals fleecing hapless COVID-19 patients for treatment.

Deputy Chief Minister (Health) A K K Srinivas (Nani), Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal, Principal Secretary (Transport) M T Krishna Babu, Principal Secretary (Covid-19 Management) Muddada Ravichandra, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar and other senior officials attended.

Meanwhile, the state government revived the State Covid Command and Control Centre in Vijayawada, headed by Principal Secretary Krishna Babu, to monitor various aspects related to Covid management.

The government also deputed senior IAS officers to each district for effective handling of the situation in view of the rising number of fresh cases. PTI DBV APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR