Expressing concern over the steep rise in COVID-19 positive cases in the State, TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu has said that Andhra Pradesh has reported a 1,021% rise in the cases as against the national average of 222 % in the last one week.
Addressing the media online from his residence in Hyderabad, Mr. Naidu alleged, “The YSRCP government has been under-reporting the cases at a time when other States such as Kerala has managed to check the spread of the virus by bringing transparency in testing. Andhra Pradesh should step up testing facilities on a war-footing to identify and isolate positive cases for prevention of virus transmission.”
‘No data on testing’
Mr. Naidu said Kerala had conducted 10,200 COVID-19 tests while Karnataka had done 5,600 and Rajasthan 12,000 tests till date but no such data was available when it came to Andhra Pradesh.
“If the government continues to neglect without realising the seriousness of the pandemic, the State would soon be on the brink of a human disaster,” said Mr. Naidu.
Appeal to CM
He also appealed to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to take all sections of leaders, intellectuals, NGOs and people’s organisations on board as part of a united strategy to check COVID-19.
Mr. Naidu demanded that like Delhi, the Andhra Pradesh government should extend ₹5,000 assistance to all poor families, including those 18 lakh families whose ration cards were cancelled recently.
The State government should provide 5 kg rice, 1 kg dal, 1 LPG cylinder and midday meals to poor families as ordered by the Centre.
“This is necessary to prevent poor people from becoming vulnerable. If they do not eat two meal a day, they will not have minimum immunity required to fight the virus,” said Mr. Naidu.
‘Pay salaries in full’
Further, Mr. Naidu also demanded that the government must pay full salaries to employees in due recognition of their work.
“It is not correct to punish employees while the government has given away ₹6,000 crore to contractors recently. The government should behave responsibly,” he said.
Mr. Naidu warned of a severe threat to food security if the government did not use the ₹3,000-crore price stabilisation fund to prevent losses to farmers.
Immediate help should be given to horticulture, aquaculture, and sericulture farmers across the State, he added.