Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting to discuss the measures being taken to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state and the need to continue the supply of essential commodities and ensure smooth agricultural operations.

So far, 161 Corona-positive cases have been reported in Andhra Pradesh, of which 140 were related to the Tablighi Jamaat event. The Chief Minister has instructed officials to strictly implement all the guidelines keeping in view the sudden increase in the number of cases after the return of Tablighi Jamaat participants.

A total of 1,085 people attended the event and 946 among them are now in AP. Samples were collected and tests have been conducted. Reports of 881 samples have been released of which 108 samples tested positive. Officials are awaiting the reports for 65 tests. About 626 members who came in contact with those who attended the event were also tested and 32 among them tested positive, while reports of 335 people are awaited, officials said.

Jagan sought details on the door-to-door survey being conducted by ANMs, Asha workers, and volunteers. For the same, the officials said 1.28 crore homes among the 1.45 crore households in the state were surveyed. Those who showed any symptoms of COVID-19 will be observed in the second phase and tests will be conducted accordingly, they said.

The officials said two new testing centers are now functional in Guntur and Kadapa. Moreover, another testing center in Visakhapatnam will be functional from Monday. Currently, the labs can test 700 samples every day. This capacity will increase to 900 per day after coordinating with private labs.

The Chief Minister instructed officials to follow a strategic plan based on the police, medical, and survey data. He has strictly ordered the officials to ensure that social distance at Ryhtu bazaars, shops, and supermarkets is maintained. The price list should be displayed at every shop and strict actions should be taken against those who sell the products at a higher price than the fixed price, he told officials.

Regarding the camps set up at various places across the state, Jagan told officials to ensure that there are no issues in accommodating migrant labourers and workers who were stranded in various parts of the state due to the lockdown. For the same, the officials said about 78,000 workers were stranded in the various camps. The government-run 236 camps are providing accommodations to 16,000 of them and a social welfare department officer has been appointed to monitor the situation at these camps. Remaining 62,000 are being accommodated through various NGOs, companies, and other sources.

As announced earlier, the Chief Minister ordered the officials that there should be no issues in delivering Rs 1,000 financial assistance to the poor. He sought details on policing during the lockdown and said there is pressure on the police department but it is necessary to show respect to the people and counsel them in a proper manner.

Regarding concerns about crops that cannot be stored, the officials said the government is purchasing tomatoes in the Madanapalle market and supplying it to Rythu Bazaars that has resulted in an increase in the price from Rs. 4 per kg to Rs. 8 due to high demand. Moreover, necessary steps are being taken to purchase the banana crop at villages and towns to make bananas available in small markets.

Jagan sought details on exports of aqua products and the officials told him that 803.4 metric tonnes of products were exported on 2 April and about 1,530 metric tonnes will be exported in another two to three days through Kakinada, Vizag, and Krishnapatnam ports. Moreover, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to concentrate on agriculture, civil supplies, and marketing departments and ensure that farmers do not face any issues. For the same, he further ordered ministers Kannababu, Mopidevi, Kodali Nani, and task force officials to ensure that there is no shortage of food supplies.

Ministers Alla Nani, Mopidevi Venkataramana, Botsa Satyanarayana, C.S Nilam Sawhney, DGP Gautam Sawang, special chief secretary to the ministry of health Jawahar Reddy, and other officials were among those present at the review meeting.

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