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Health officials point out politicians’ reckless behaviour

‘Public representatives have responsibility to secure people’s health in COVID times’

On several instances, people have frowned at the sight of politicians cheering through crowd not wearing masks, not maintaining physical distancing between them and others. In a rare instance, the irresponsible behaviour of politicians was pointed out by Telangana Health department officials.

Pointing out that padayatras (foot march), rallies, and other political activities have increased in Telangana from the past few days, the State’s Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that politicians and cadre did not follow COVID-19 precautions.

“Politicians do not wear mask while speaking. How many droplets fall when one speaks without wearing a mask and when activists and people are around? Virus spreads through droplets,” Dr Srinivasa Rao said at a press conference held at the State Health Campus, Koti, on Tuesday.

He added that while the leaders and political parties have rights, they also have the responsibility of securing people’s health. The efforts put in by over one lakh Health Care Workers (HCW), police, municipal and other frontline workers (FLWs) from the past one-and-half year to control the pandemic was mentioned.

When asked if fines were levied on the politicians, including MLAs, Ministers and the Chief Minister, for not wearing mask or, if the DPH will ask police or other authorities to ensure that the politicians follow rules while in public, Dr Srinivasa said that some public representatives did not follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and requested other departments to fulfil their responsibility of enforcing rules. “If you follow rules as a public representative, it will stand as an example for people,” he added.

At the press conference, Mr. Srinivasa Rao and Director of Medical Education Dr K Ramesh Reddy have urged people participating in festival celebrations, functions, and other gatherings to continue maintaining COVID-appropriate behaviour. They spoke about the ongoing second wave, continuing spread of coronavirus in some pockets of the State, and other topics.

The officials earlier urged people participating in Bonalu and Bakrid celebrations to wear masks, maintain physical distance, sainitise hands regularly. This was reiterated on Tuesday. Besides this, people thronging shopping malls, youth meeting at pubs, and other places, were mentioned to caution the public.

The trauma and tragedies face by people in the two COVID waves, such as struggles to find a hospital bed was mentioned. The officials urged the people to realise their responsibility of avoiding the virus to keep themselves, their families, and others safe.

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