Hyderabad recorded 998 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, adding to the steady increase in cases being witnessed in Telangana. As per estimates based on available data, Hyderabad may have reported over 14,000 cases in total.
The Telangana government does not provide total numbers — district wise — in their bulletins and only publishes daily data for each district. However, on Monday, Health Minister Eatala Rajendran said that the city had 10,666 COVID-19 cases, of which 3500 people had been treated. On Monday, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had 861 cases, 869 on Tuesday, 881 on Wednesday and 998 on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases from Monday till Thursday to 3609.
TNM has correlated the data based on numbers that have been announced, though it has not been confirmed by state officials. The data, in part, has been provided by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare.
Most of the patients were recorded in June. From June 1 till Thursday, Hyderabad has recorded over 11,800 cases, if one goes by the daily bulletins. However, since numbers for June 8 were not released, that data has not been included in TNM’s calculations.
The death toll in the state stands at 275 after eight deaths were recorded on Thursday. So far, the state conducted a total of 98,153 tests.
The state government’s handling of COVID-19 crisis has been criticised from several quarters, including the Telangana High Court. The court on Wednesday expressed shock over the Health Department ignoring its direction to provide details of the containment zones and their plan to contain the spread of the virus.
Facing severe backlash, the Telangana government announced on June 15 that it would conduct 50,000 tests within 10 days. However, the tests were halted on June 25, citing an overload of testing samples.
The state government also stands accused of failing to be transparent in its reporting of case numbers. "The state is resorting to suppression of information," the bench of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice B Vijayasen Reddy said on Wednesday, while hearing a petition regarding COVID-19 crisis.
The government had earlier assured the court that it would conduct more than 5,000 tests per day. However, it is currently conducting around 3000-4000 tests per day.
Meanwhile, Malkajgiri MP and Congress working president A Revanth Reddy had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, urging him to impose a health emergency in the state and take over the healthcare sector, which is managed by the state.
Revanth Reddy, in his letter, accused the state government led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao of mismanaging the crisis, and said that the testing capacity of the state is ‘abysmally low.’ Substantiating his argument, the MP compared the cumulative tests conducted by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh so far.
“Until now only around 70,000 tests have been conducted in total, which is far less compared to other metros and even the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, which has done approximately 6 lakh tests until now,” he pointed out.