As the number of corona cases are surging in Andhra Pradesh, the government is cracking its whip on municipal commissioners for their failure to contain the spread of the virus.

A day after removing Kurnool municipal commissioner Ravindra Babu for a steady spike in corona cases in the district which has reported the highest figures in AP, the government has shifted Narsaraopet municipal chief Siva Reddy. On Friday, the government appointed IAS officer D K Balaji replacing Ravindra Babu. Earlier,the state government placed Nagari Municipal Commissioner K Venkatrami Reddy under suspension for his ‘adverse comments’ on the government with regard to Covid-19 crisis. K Venkatrami Reddy criticized the government for blocking the accounts and not supplying medical equipment such as masks, PPEs and gloves.

The state has been reporting double digit rise in coronavirus infections in the last one week as the state prepares for a gradual easing of its lockdown from next week. Kurnool continues to have highest number of cases at 411, followed by Guntur and Krishna with 306 and 240 cases respectively.

However, removing, shifting or sacking municipal officials will not help solve the problem at hand. The Oppoistion leaders said that the government has been taking stringent action against officials blaming them for failure to contain the spread of the virus while letting the ruling YSRCP leaders go scot-free for violating lockdown regulations. TDP leader Bonda Uma on Friday asked what action did the govenment initiate against several MLAs who violated the lockdown regualtions endangering the lives of the people. On Friday, as the positive cases of novel coronavirus continue to rise in Andhra Pradesh, Chittoor YSRCP MP Reddappa violated the lockdown by distributing food packets to around more than hundred people who had gathered on his call in his constituency in Chittoor.

“Despite experts advising people not to step out of their homes and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, people gathered heeding to a call given by the MP. The people stood close to each other, crowding the area, as the Chittoor MP distributed food packets to them,” TDP leader Bonda Uma staing that lockdown and social distance has to followed by all. “The law applies to all. Such actions by those representing people are highly condemnable,” he said. He squarely blamed YSRCP Srikalahasti MLA Madhusudhan Reddy and Sullurupeta legislator Kiliveti Sanjeevaiah for spread of the virus by taking out massive tractor rallies throwing the lockdown regulations to the winds.

“The YSRCP leaders are spreading the virus in the state, but the government seems to be busy sacking or removing municipal officials. YSRCP leaders are putting the lives of the people at a grave risk by blatantly violating the regulations by taking out rallies and organising large gatherings. “The government has made scape goats out of municipal commissioners which is unfortunate,” Bonda Uma said. He further said sacking or removing officials will not help, “pro-active efforts to track down and isolate the infected, access to basic, affordable public health care, and clear, reassuring messaging from leaders and aggressive public health campaigns intended to minimize infections will do a lot of good,” Bonda Uma gave his piece of advice.

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