Hyderabad: Kurnool and Guntur districts in Andhra Pradesh have emerged as two major hotspots of Covid-19 accounting for nearly half of the state’s 1,332 cases. State government officials said that the virus’ spread is high due to secondary contacts of those who had attended the religious congregation at the Markaz Nizamuddin in New Delhi last month.
On Wednesday, out of the 73 new Covid-19 cases that were detected in AP, 29 were from Guntur alone, while a day earlier on Tuesday, 40 out of the 83 cases that were reported on that day in AP were from Guntur district. So far, Kurnool alone has accounted for 343 (25.7%) of the total covid-19 cases in AP, while 283 cases were reported from Guntur.
Together, both the districts in AP account for 46% of all the Covid-19 cases that have been reported in the state. In fact, last week, it came to light that six members of Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, a ruling member of parliament from the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), had tested positive for Covid-19 as well. The MP Kumar confirmed the same, and also informed the media that two of his brothers were infected.
So what has caused these two districts in AP to be so affected by the pandemic? Many of the cases that are being detected in Kurnool and Guntur districts are essentially people who are secondary contacts of those who had attended the Markaz Nizamuddin in March in New Delhi. “Some of the people who attended also could not be traced,” said the official, who did not want to be quoted.
The AP government has established many containment clusters across AP wherever Covid-19 cases have been detected. Apart from primary contacts (of those who were infected) who tested positive for the virus, the spread from secondary contacts to a certain extent has also been contributing to AP’s increase in total Covid-19 numbers, which have been increasing by between 50 to 80 cases a day during the past seven days
For example, between 26 April and 29 April, AP reported 80, 81, 82 and 73 (Wednesday) cases per day respectively, totalling 319 cases, of which 68 alone were from Kurnool. The state government had earlier said that a total of 1,085 people from AP had attended the meeting, and that 900 of them were in the state had been tested.
The state had been behind its neighbour Telangana with regard to the total number of Covid-19 cases till about four days ago. Till 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Telangana had 1,009 total cases as against AP’s case count of 1,332.