A day before the Prime Minister was to address the nation at 10 am on 14 April, Jaganmohan Reddy shot off a letter to Narendra Modi. In the letter, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh persisted with the point he made during the video conference with chief ministers. That just 81 mandals in Andhra Pradesh in the red and orange zones have reported cases and close to 600 have reported nil cases. Jagan’s point was that economic and agricultural activity with reasonable restrictions should be allowed to commence in such mandals instead of imposing a blanket lockdown.
While the PM has decided to extend the national lockdown till 3 May, his rider that the situation in specific areas could be examined post 20 April will come as a relief to the Andhra Pradesh government. It has believed that taking the district as the unit ends up entire population under lockdown while dividing them as per mandals will allow some leeway for life to get back to normal. Of course, this would mean added pressure on the police force to ensure citizens do not cross from one mandal to another and also for Telugus to exhibit restraint themselves.
Andhra Pradesh is also pleased with its efforts to flatten the curve go. NDTV ranked its performance as the best among all states and unless the situation takes a turn for the worse in the next week, one can expect a majority of areas in Andhra Pradesh to resume regular activity. But that will not mean cinema theatres will be allowed to open or permission will be given to congregations of all kinds. Social distancing as a norm will be strictly imposed.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh