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We can recover from the economic problems but we cannot recover lives – says Telagana CM

The Southern states have had the highest cases of the novel COVID-19, before the sudden burst of cases arising in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi after the Tablighi Jamaat event. Many of the individuals inside the mosque had traveled all across the country, many of them even coming from other states. This lead to a massive rise in the number of cases in the more visited southern states of the country.

As the number of cases goes on rising steadily to more than 4000+ cases, the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on 6 March 2020 Monday spoke in support of the rumors regarding the lockdown.

Cases Identified

The Chief Minister stated that almost 3,000 people who were directly or indirectly linked to the Jamaat event. He said that as many as 1,089 had returned to their homes in Telengana and others who may have been in contact with individuals and therefore hold as potential cases.

In light of this, Chandrashekar Rao appealed for the extension of the lockdown post 15th April 2020, as opposed to the statements given by the government officials and several pleas of the economists.“I’m for the extension of the lockdown. Over 20 countries, including Singapore, are under lockdown. We can be no exception. There is no other weapon that can help us contain the virus,” he had said. He stated that the lack of medical infrastructure is the reason we need to rely on the lockdown as the main weapon to stop the spread.

“I appeal to the Prime Minister and the Government to extend the lockdown by at least by one-two weeks and then take a call,” he further added.

Boston Report

Though several economists have urged the government not to extend the lockdown, many including the Chief Minister of Telangana feel that complete lockdown is the only way to stop the spread of this virus. In support of his statement, Chandrashekar Rao referred to a research report by the Boston Consulting Group which was in favor of an extension of the 21 days lockdown till June to establish control over the situation.

Economic Crisis

To address the economic consequences of the extension of the lockdown, as mentioned
by several economic experts including the former governor of the RBI Raghuram Rajan, he stated that the economy can be revived and recovered by we cannot recover the lives that will be lost due to inappropriate measures.

He mentioned that the state had suffered huge revenue losses due to the lockdown and
that the revenue is estimated to have fallen to just Rs. 1 Crore a day as compared to the
normal average Rs 400 Crore.

Regarding the essential service workers of the state, he annulled that the salary
deferments announced for the staff of civic bodies. “For their exemplary service, we are
giving them an incentive of ₹7,500 each for about 25,000 employees in the cities and
₹5,000 each for sanitary workers in villages,” he said.

Many Speculate Extention

The extension of the lockdown has been highly debated by several individuals all across
the country. This rumor has been refuted by government officials stating that the
government has no plan as of now to extend the lockdown and that these rumors are
absolutely baseless. One of the main factors which defer the government from further
extending the lockdown is the economic crisis due to lack of productive activities and loss
of income of the people, which might result in many of the lower-income classes to defy
the lockdown rules.

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