'Punish people obstructing COVID-19 dead cremations'

Take stringent action against people obstructing COVID-19 dead cremations, CM Jagan tells AP Police

Inhuman, CM Jagan says referring to Kurnool incident

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has directed the state’s police to act sternly on people obstructing the burial of COVID-19 dead in their localities.

The state with 31 deaths is topping the south Indian states in COVID-19 fatalities. The state is continuing to report an alarming number of cases every day – 71 new cases on Thursday (April 30) took the total cases to 1403.

The CM’s direction came during a pandemic review on Thursday when one such resistance faced by officials came to light from Kurnool. Fearing virus spread, ill-informed locals objected to cremation of a COVID-19 patient’s body in a plot earmarked for the purpose on the city outskirts.

Kurnool has the highest number of COVID-19 cases – 386 and also deaths – 9.

The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday (April 28) night when an ambulance carrying the dead body entered the Jaganatha Gutta area near the Outer Ring Road. Alerted by a few youths, a large crowd from a nearby colony gathered and some have allegedly pelted stones at the ambulance.

“Such acts are very inhuman. Coronavirus could infect anyone – these protestors might also be affected by the virus tomorrow. Stigmatizing the COVID-19 affected and treating them as untouchables is very wrong. We should be sympathetic to those fallen ill like we treat our dear ones in similar situations,” Reddy said, according to officials, while asking the DGP to take action in this regard.

Reddy was informed that as per the central guidelines legal action can be taken against such obstructors.

The state has at present 1051 active cases.  However, officials foresee a high number of recoveries in the next 2-3 days. There were no COVID-19 casualties in AP from the past few days.

So far, 94,558 COVID-19 tests have been conducted averaging to 1,771 tests per a million population. The country’s COVID-19 positive rate and the mortality rate are four and 3.26 percent respectively, whereas, for AP it is 1.48 and 2.21 percent, respectively. Over 68,000 rapid tests have been conducted separately, officials briefed the CM.

The Chief Minister has ordered officials to monitor the facilities in Kurnool General Hospital and improve the infrastructure at all hospitals and quarantine centers.

As of now, the state has 80 very active clusters, 64 active clusters, and 66 dormant clusters besides 20 clusters with no active cases for the past 28 days. COVID-19 preventive measures are being intensified in Kurnool, Guntur, Vijayawada which have become hotspots with spiraling cases.