Spike in COVID-19 cases in T'gana; CM Rao urges Modi not to resume train services now

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Spike in COVID-19 cases in T'gana; CM Rao urges Modi not to resume train services now
(Eds: Combines related stories) Hyderabad, May 11 () Telangana government on Mondaydisfavoured resumption of passenger train services at thisjuncture, saying it would lead to movement of people and poseproblems in testing them for COVID-19 and quarantining as thestate saw a spike in fresh cases taking the tally to 1,275.

The day also saw more than 280 Indian nationals strandedin the USA and UAE arriving by Air India flights at theinternational airport here as part of the Vande Bharat Missionto repatriate such people from foreign countries. As many as 79 people tested positive for the virus onMonday while 50 were discharged as the active cases stood at444, a COVID-19 bulletin said. Though the number of cases showed a decline since earlythis month, it's been on the rise during the last few days andall the 79 fresh cases were from the Greater HyderabadMunicipal Corporation (GHMC), the hotbed of the virus spreadin the state.

Participating in the video conference held by PrimeMinister Narendra Modi to discuss coronavirus containment andlockdown exit plans, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao urgedhim not to resume the passenger train services and said theimpact of COVID-19 has been more in major cities, includingDelhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Rao asked Modi "not to revive the passenger trainservices, which were stopped as part of preventive measures tocontain spread of coronavirus in the country," an officialrelease said. As many as 15 trains are to be operated by the Railwaysfrom Tuesday on the Rajdhani route from Delhi to all the majorcities, including Secunderabad here, in the country. Rao told Modi that resumption of passenger trainservices at this juncture would lead to movement of peoplefrom one destination to another. Nobody knows who is going from where to where. It is notpossible to conduct tests on everyone. It is also difficult toput all those who travelled by trains under quarantine. Hence,passengers trains should not be allowed to ply, he said. The chief minister also strongly favoured stategovernments allowing migrant workers to return to their nativeplaces, besides rescheduling the loans of states and raisingFiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) limits. Observing that no revenue is being earned in view of thevirus spread and consequent lockdown, he said no statewas in a position to repay loans. Rao stressed that lockdown regulations be strictlyimplemented in containment zones and there be no laxity. Separately, he instructed officials to plan a strategy onthe road ahead with COVID-19 remaining in existence, anotherrelease said. The plan should take into account various aspects,including resumption of economic activity, implementation ofrelaxations in zones (such as green and orange) andactivities which should not be allowed, it said. As part of the Vande Bharat mission, Air India flight AI1617 carrying 118 people from San Francisco in US via Mumbailanded at the GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport herein the morning. Flight AI 1920from Abu Dhabi landed at 8.50 pm with 170 passengers, airportsources said. To facilitate the arriving passengers and aircraft crew,the airport has kept the international arrivals and the entirestretch right from aerobridge to arrivals ramp fully sanitisedand fumigated.

The airport also enforced the social distancing amongpassengers right from the aerobridge to across the terminal,the sources added.

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Meanwhile, police said cases had been registered against44 fruit traders for not following social distancing norms andfor not wearing masks at the Gaddiannaram fruit market here. SJR VVK GDKVS VS
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