Hyderabad: Even 24 hours after the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare disclosed that six returnees from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus (B 1.1.7), the Telangana government and the state’s health department are tight-lipped about the lone positive patient with a new variant virus.

The lone positive patient is reportedly from the Warangal district of state but the Telangana government is still mum regarding tracing, testing and treating the possible contacts of this patient. Along with a single case in Telangana and one in Andhra Pradesh, who has been traced and being treated, three are from Bengaluru and one is from Pune.

Since yesterday (December 29, 2020), the Telangana health department officials are tight-lipped and are not disclosing anything, particularly tracing, testing and treating the contacts of this patient. 

The Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao was supposed to hold a press conference which was preponed and ultimately cancelled. Even the press note which was scheduled to be released yesterday afternoon was held back till now giving rise to serious doubts on the handling of the issue.

There are conflicting unconfirmed and unverified reports that either he may be in a Government facility or in a private hospital and obviously it is not known as to how many people he/she may have come in contact with.

Ironically, the health department officials are refusing to disclose even permitted information at least on the SOPs whereas the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is in control of the situation. With the indications of this new variant of Covid-19 spreading faster, the laxity which the Telangana government is showing especially since the last few months can have severe repercussions.

It is business as usual in Telangana, especially in populous Hyderabad city where adhering to Covid-19 norms seems to be a thing of the past. There is no strict enforcement of following Covid-19 protocols as many can be seen on public places without masks.

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