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T’gana Guv bats for more tests

Although the Cabinet had decided to ramp up testing to 40,000 a day, testing came down to 8,794 on Sunday. The state was testing around 20,000 per day last week. On 17 August 19,579 tests were conducted, according to today’s health bulletin.

Statesman News Service | Hyderabad |

Even as Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundarajan pointed out the dwindling number of Covid-19 tests is not the best way to tackle the pandemic, the state unit of BJP and organising committees of Ganesh festival are up in arms against the state government’s direction to observe both Muharram and Ganesh festival at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus.

The governor, who has been repeatedly advising the state government to heed to WHO’s advice and increase testing, today took to Twitter to highlight the need for more testing, then tracking and treating to control the virus.

Although the Cabinet had decided to ramp up testing to 40,000 a day, testing came down to 8,794 on Sunday.

The state was testing around 20,000 per day last week. On 17 August 19,579 tests were conducted, according to today’s health bulletin.

“Want to re-stress views of WHO. Unless adequate testing is done our efforts to eradicate Covid-19 in Telangana will be difficult, more so amid rain and floods in this season,” tweeted the governor.

Soundarajan had written about 6-7 letters to the state government and according to an interview given to a TV channel the state government had underestimated the Covid- 19 situation.

However, BJP leaders and organising committees of Ganesh Utsav, which, more or less, are dominated by those who belong to the Saffron party or its various wings are against the state government’s decision.

Yesterday, the city police chief had tweeted that no idol installation in public places will be allowed due to the Covid- 19 situation as directed by the government. “We care for your health and safety… Do Maatam of Muharram at home. Similarly do Ganesh pujas at home,” said Anjani Kumar, city police commissioner.

The Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, oldest puja organising committee, says the festival can be celebrated by adhering to social-distancing, using masks and sanitisers. Committee’s general secretary Bhagwanth Rao said.

Ganesh mandaps can be erected in apartments, gated communities, function halls and colonies. He asked home minister Md Mahmood Ali to inform police stations that police permission will not be required for installing idols. Local police stations can be notified about it. Telangana BJP unit president Bandi

Sanjay Kumar said: “I warn TRS leaders that we will lay siege to their houses if the government tried to arrest any utsav committee member in the name of containment of Covid-19”