Vijayawada: After a high-level review meeting with ministers and officials to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy has decided to reduce the time allowed for people to come out of their homes to buy essential commodities. In the urban areas, people can now come out and buy necessary items from 6 a.m to 11 a.m, while in rural areas they can come out between 6 a.m to 1 pm.

The price list of essential goods should be displayed at every shop and supermarket, and strict action will be taken against those flouting the rules, Jagan said. He also said that shopkeepers trying to sell goods at higher prices will be sent to jail. Village volunteer survey should be accurate and closely monitored, he said, adding the officials should prepare an action plan based on the Corona virus outbreak situation. The Chief Minister has instructed officials to use RTC buses to supply essential goods and use mobile vans to deliver vegetables. He also asked them to supply goods to old-age homes in the state.

After the meeting, the ministers said the CM’s instructions and orders will be strictly implemented. State health minister Alla Nani said the Chief Minister has instructed all officials to ensure that social distancing is maintained in agriculture, aquaculture, and related sectors. Every farmer will be provided the minimum support price (MSP). The officials briefed Jagan about the measures taken in the aqua sector to ensure MSP, to which the Chief Minister said strict action will be taken against those who purchase the products at a price lower than the fixed government price.
The government will ensure a continuous supply of essential commodities and vehicles transporting goods and emergency vehicles will not face any trouble. As per the Chief Minister’s orders, ministers and MLAs will coordinate with district-level officials in their respective constituencies to monitor the steps taken to prevent the spread of Corona virus and also ensure that people do not face any problem during the lockdown. Migrant labourers and workers stranded in various parts of the state and along the borders will be provided accommodation and food. Mr Nani also said that the government will provide soap, brush, and various other essentials to these people.

Meanwhile, agriculture minister Kurasala Kannababu said the government is taking all necessary steps to ensure that there is no interruption in the transportation of fertilizer to farmers. Also, as per the Chief Minister’s instructions, steps are being taken to reopen aqua-related industries. All those working in this sector will maintain social distancing at work and will be provided masks and gloves.

The government is keen on providing MSP for crops and establishing mobile markets. It will also ensure that stock of essential products are checked and any shortage fulfilled immediately. About 50 per cent of workers will be allowed in processing units with strict safety measures and social distancing protocol, the minister said.

The DGP, meanwhile, said an integrated call center has been set up in every district to report issues the people are facing. Urban areas have been prioritized because the outbreak has mostly been reported in urban places.

The Chief Minister also sought details on Rythu bazaars and availability of essential goods in the state. He has strictly ordered that there should be no public gatherings and people should only come out during the designated time slots.
Minsters Alla Nani, Botsa Satyanarayana, M. Sucharitha, K. Kannababu, Buggana Rajendranath, Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, chief secretary Nilam Sawhney, special health secretary Jawahar Reddy, and DGP Gautam Sawang attended the meeting.

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