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44 new coronavirus cases in AP, tally climbs to 647

44 new coronavirus cases in AP, tally climbs to 647
Amaravati(AP), Apr 19 () A possible communitytransmission of the dreaded coronavirus in Vijayawada city hastriggered a major scare even as the number of positive casesin Andhra Pradesh climbed further up on Sunday to 647 in thelast 24 hours and the toll to 17.

In all, 44 new cases were added to the tally in the last24 hours ending 9 am on Sunday, as the state government said arecord 5,508 tests were carried out during the period.

With a total of 65 discharged and 17 deceased, the numberof active coronavirus cases in the state stood at 565.

According to the state Covid-19 Dashboard, an aggregateof 26,958 tests were carried out till date, of which 26,311turned negative.

Of the 75 coronavirus positive cases reported in Krishnadistrict, Vijayawada alone had 60.

The entire city has been classified as red zone orcontainment zones with controlled movement of vehicles.

Authorities have identified a few major hotspots likeKummaripalem and Karmika Nagar where more than 10 cases eachwere registered so far.

"Of late, many cases are being reported from people whosefamily members had no foreign returnee or Tablighi Jamaatconnection.

Their family had either drivers who had inter-statetravel or people who move among public like ward secretary orfair price shop dealer," Krishna District Collector A MdImtiaz pointed out.

He attributed the spread of the viral disease toviolation of physical distancing norms by people, particularlyin the small lanes and bylanes of the city.

"The worrisome factor is contacts of this category aremainly those people who live in the neighborhood of positivecases.

This clearly proves that social distancing in the smalllanes and bylanes is not being followed by people at large,"Imtiaz observed.

Vijayawada apart, Kurnool the other major hotbed ofCovid-19 is also sending shivers among the administration as26 fresh cases were added in the last 24 hours ending 9 am onSunday.

Kurnool district tops the state with a total of 158positive cases and four deaths so far.

The famous doctor in Kurnool city, who died ofcoronavirus early this week, was suspected to be a majorcarrier as many of his family members contracted the diseasewhile the authorities were now busy tracing his othercontacts.

"In the last few days, he treated over 1,000 people asout-patients while there were about 80 in-patients in hishospital. Besides, he had a staff of about 70 members.

So, now we are tracing and screening all of them," a topofficial of the health department said.

Kurnool district Collector G Veerapandian appealed tothose who got treated by the doctor after March 20 tovoluntarily get screened.

"Once these people are identified and tested, the numberof cases may possibly spike," the top official said.

Meanwhile, 23 Covid-19 patients had fully recovered andbeen discharged from hospitals in different districts of thestate.

Of those discharged, nine were from West Godavaridistrict, six from Kadapa, three each from Visakhapatnam andChittoor and two from East Godavari, according to the dailybulletin. DBVROH ROH

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