Hyderabad: In a first, Telangana has sought the help of the state Intelligence department to get information about the number of people who have entered the state since 1 March. According to sources, around 12,000 people from international destinations have made their way into the state since the beginning of the month.

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak in the state which has reported 18 positive cases, the Telangana government has geared up efforts to take necessary precautions for all those who entered the state by air. Earlier, the state government had access only to the immigration checks done at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad. However, with the involvement of the Intelligence department, the state can now find out the places where passengers have done immigration checks before reaching Hyderabad

Speaking to NewsMeter, A. Venkata Ranganath, superintendent of Nalgonda police, said this could be the first time that the state investigative agency is aiding the state during a health crisis. “Lack of information can be a major hurdle in treating this pandemic. So, the Intelligence department has helped the state by providing information on who has gone where and how they entered Telangana from 1 March.”

He said, “For instance, people coming from international destinations may do their immigration checks elsewhere, in Chennai or Delhi. Then they take a domestic flight to Hyderabad. Usually, we have information only about this person’s domestic flight to Hyderabad and not about his international travel history. With the Intelligence department sharing information with the state, we will not miss people who need to take precautionary measures against the virus.”

As of 20 March, Telangana has recorded a total of 18 Corona-positive cases, while one patient has been discharged and kept under home isolation. Officials said the two latest patients had a travel history from London. The state government has also decided to set up 18 check-posts across the Telangana borders to monitor the entry of people travelling by road.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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