COVID-19: Sorry, but stay wherever you are, Jagan tells Andhra Pradesh natives wanting to return home

CM Reddy said that his Telangana counterpart Chandrasekhar Rao has assured to take care of all Andhra Pradesh people in Hyderabad and Telangana
Last Updated 26 March 2020, 16:35 IST

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy has appealed to the state’s people residing in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana not to come home at this critical phase of COVID-19.

Since Wednesday – the first day of the nationwide lockdown – thousands of people – students, software professionals and laborers flocked along the highways connecting Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to reach their native places.

Hundreds of vehicles were stranded at the check posts in Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool districts, as of Andhra Pradesh had closed its borders to contain Covid-19 spread.

The chaotic scenes where people gathered in close contact, demanding that they be let into their state was caused by two factors.

Following the lockdown in Telangana, many of Hyderabad’s hostels and PG accommodation managements forced their inhabitants, mostly bachelors, to vacate arguing that ration procurement for food preparation has become problematic.

Hundreds of these students, techies then lined up at Panjagutta, SR Nagar, Gachibowli, Miyapur etc. police stations. SHOs there provided them “NOCs/Entry Passes” for private vehicles to leave Telangana.

At-least 3000 such passes were reportedly issued from one part of Hyderabad. At a time when a total lockdown banning vehicular movement was in place, the Hyderabad cops’ “one-exemption” move has inadvertently created the undesirable mass public gatherings at the AP check posts.

The unapprised Andhra police had blocked their entry stating the NOCs as unauthorized by their state. This has agitated the public who drove for hours, after procuring passes with difficulty.

With more people gathering at PS wanting passes; to bring control the situation, Telangana DGP Mahender Reddy had warned hostels and PG houses not to vacate anyone.

On Thursday, CM Reddy made it clear that anyone entering AP would have to be quarantined for 14 days, and then only can be allowed to their respective places.

Reddy said that he spoke to Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and “that he has assured to take care of all Andhra Pradesh people in Telangana.”

“Our people want to come home, but the situation is such that we are not able to welcome them with a smile. I am pained by the scenes at our borders with Telangana. But this is the time we should show restraint and stay wherever we are. It is a matter of few days – till April 14,” Reddy said. “If we do not, then we would not be able to control this pandemic.”

The CM said that about 200 people who were allowed into AP on Wednesday are being quarantined. “Such strict measures are needed since we do not know where you are coming from, whom you are in contact with,” Reddy said informing 27,819 foreign returned as in surveillance.

“Luckily we have recorded only 10 positive cases so far,” Reddy said, calling for people’s support in stopping the virus.

(Published 26 March 2020, 16:35 IST)

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