An Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly Member (MLA), belonging to the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), has reportedly been held responsible for the huge increase in Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the state’s Kurnool district.
Hafeez Khan Mohammed, MLA representing the Kurnool constituency, had, particularly, played a key role in preventing the shifting of those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat Nizamuddin Aalami Markaz congregations last month in Delhi to quarantine centres, it was reported.
He is reported to have prevented the testing of many people who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz events that emerged as a prime Coronavirus hotspot in the country.
The Hans India reported that a Mumbai-based legal activism group, Legal Rights Observatory (LRO), has filed a complaint against the MLA with the Centre.
Demanding an inquiry by the Ministries of Home Affairs and Health & Family Welfare, the Mumbai-based organisation tweeted that the number of Coronavirus cases in Kurnool had increased abnormally due to “appeasement politics”.
LRO said that the first Covid-19 case in Kurnool was handled as a normal chest and lung infection and the Coronavirus suspect was admitted to the general chest disease ward.
Hafeez Khan Mohammed also visited the quarantine centres and spent time with the inmates. In addition, a private hospital in Kurnool had secretly treated those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregations at the instance of the YSRCP MLA.
LRO alleged that 4,000 people are estimated to have gone to the private hospital, including from neighbouring Gadwal district in Telangana state, “during the relevant dates”.
The Nizamuddin Markaz events have been traced as the main source of Covid-19 infection in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur and Kurnool districts, where over 200 cases each have been reported.
These districts make up nearly 49 per cent of the Coronavirus cases in the state.
So far, 955 persons have tested positive for the pandemic virus in Andhra Pradesh with 29 deaths being reported.
Kurnool, with 261 cases, makes for over 27 per cent of the total Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh.
Guntur, which has reported 206 cases till now, makes for 21.5 per cent of those affected in the state.
The Andhra Pradesh government has sounded a high alert in these two districts, besides Krishna and Chittoor.
In view of the high number of cases in Guntur and Kurnool, Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy has asked his officials to enforce the nation-wide lockdown in these districts strictly.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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