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The Telangana cabinet has decided to impose a lockdown in the state in a crucial cabinet meeting held at Pragati Bhavan, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s camp office. The lockdown will be imposed from May 12, Wednesday, for a period of 10 days until May 22. According to a note issued by the state government, shops and other activities will be allowed only from 6 am to 10 am. The cabinet has also decided to call for global tenders for the purchase of vaccines. The decision comes days after CM KCR said there will be no lockdown in the state as it will cripple the economy.

Earlier in the day, a two-judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy expressed disappointment and anxiety about COVID-19 management in the state when compared to other states. Chief Justice Hima Kohli observed that in the previous meeting in spite of indicating extension of night curfew and imposing weekend curfew, no action was taken. The court also observed that, “the current night curfew is very cosmetic in nature.”

On Monday evening, a note from the CMO said that CM KCR has called for a cabinet meeting to discuss the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state and to decide whether the state should impose a lockdown. The note read, “There are reports that suggest that despite certain states imposing the lockdown there is no decrease in the cases. Against this backdrop, different opinions are emerging on the lockdown. Some sections are arguing in favour of the imposition of lockdown. Under these circumstances, the State cabinet would discuss the pros and cons of the lockdown and also the adverse impact it may have on the ongoing procurement of the Paddy and it will take a decision”, the statement read.

Even while other south Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have imposed a lockdown to check the surge of COVID-19 cases, Telangana had earlier ruled out any such possibility citing a loss of revenue. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Director of Public Health G Srinivas Rao and other officials from the health department have been categorically saying that the state has no plans of imposing a lockdown. 

CM KCR, who recently recovered from COVID-19, held a review meeting with officials regarding the prevailing health crisis. Following the meeting he conveyed that the government has no plans for a lockdown as the move will affect both public life as well as the state's economy.  

The government decided to impose a night curfew in the state after the Telangana High Court suggested that some step be taken to check the rising cases in the state. Th night curfew from 9pm to 5am every night will be in place until May 15.

Meanwhile, Telangana reported 4,826 cases on Monday and 32 deaths. The state presently has 62,797 active COVID-19 cases.
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