Andhra Pradesh Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 - April 14, 2020)

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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 disease to be a global pandemic.  Along with the Central government, State governments have announced several policy decisions to prevent and contain the spread of the virus in their respective states.  In this blog post, we summarise some of the key measures taken by the Andhra Pradesh Government in this regard as of April 14, 2020.

As of April 14, 2020, there are 473 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh.  Of these, 14 patients have been cured/discharged and 9 have died.[1]

Movement Restrictions

To contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Government of Andhra Pradesh took the following measures for restricting the movement of people in the state.

  • On March 18 and 19, the Department of Health issued orders to close educational institutions and non-essential commercial establishments such as cinema halls, gyms, malls, and swimming pools until March 31.[2]
     
  • On March 22, the state announced a complete lockdown till March 31.  Gathering of more than four people was prohibited at any public place.  Establishments providing essential goods and services were excluded from the lockdown restrictions.2  This was followed by the central government’s announcement on a 21-day country-wide lockdown starting March 25.[3]  On April 14, the Prime Minister announced the extension of lockdown till May 3, 2020.[4]

Essential Goods and Services

The state government exempted certain essential commodities and services such as fruits, vegetables, milk, groceries, public distribution system through Fair Price Shops, and medicines from the lockdown.  It also formed the District Level Committees headed by Joint Collector for fixing and monitoring the prices of essential food items.2

On April 3, the government declared that all government and private health care and medical facilities will be considered as essential services for a period of six months.2 

Welfare Measures

The state government has announced the following welfare measures for the people who are in distress due to the lockdown. 

  • One kilogram of red gram dal, and the ration of rice for the month of April will be provided for free to all rice cardholders.2
     
  • A one-time support of Rs 1,000 will be provided to all rice card holding families for buying essential commodities such as groceries and vegetables.2
     
  • The state government will provide free ration to NGOs running old age homes and child care institutions.  This free ration will include 10 kg of rice and one kg of red gram dal per resident.[5]
     
  • On March 31, the State Government directed the district administration to set up Special Shelter Centres in urban areas for providing food and shelter to the migrant workers and homeless in the state.2

Health Measures

Andhra Pradesh Epidemic Disease COVID-19 Regulations 2020

On March 13, 2020, the government notified the Andhra Pradesh Epidemic Disease COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 for containment of COVID in the state.  As per these regulations, both government and private hospitals must have dedicated COVID-19 isolation facilities.2

Setting up of quarantine centres at district and constituency level

On March 25, the Department of Health issued orders for setting up a 100-bed quarantine centre in every constituency and 200-bed quarantine centre at the district level.[6]  On March 31, certain hospitals were designated as exclusive hospitals for treating Corona positive patients.  These include: (i) four hospitals at the state level and (ii) 13 hospitals at district level (one hospital per district).2

Ban on spitting in public places

On April 12, the government issued an order prohibiting the use and spitting of smokeless tobacco or chewable tobacco/non-tobacco product, sputum in public places.[7]

Administrative Measures

The government announced 100% deferment of salaries of all the elected representatives of the state and 10% to 60% deferment for all the government employees of the state.[8]  Employees of the Medical and Health Department, Police Department, and sanitation workers employed in rural and urban local bodies are exempted from salary deferment.[9]

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.


[1] COVID-19: Andhra Pradesh, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare website, last accessed on April 14, 2020, http://hmfw.ap.gov.in/covid_dashboard.aspx.

[2] Compendium of Instructions, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, http://hmfw.ap.gov.in/COVID-19%20IEC/COMPENDIUM%20OF%20INSTRUCTIONS%20-%20COVID19.pdf.

[3] Order No. 1-29/2020-PP, National Disaster Management Authority, March 24, 2020, https://mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/ndma%20order%20copy.pdf.

[4] “PM addresses the nation for 4th time in 4 Weeks in India’s fight against COVID-19” Press Release, Prime Minister’s office, April 14, 2020, https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1614255.

[5] G.O.RT.No. 58, Department for Women, Children, Differently Abled & Senior Citizens Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, March 29, 2020.

[6] Order No.4/COVID-19/2020, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, March 25, 2020  http://hmfw.ap.gov.in/COVID-19%20IEC/4.GOI%20Guidelines%20and%20Advisories/InstantOrders/COVID%20INSTANT%20ORDER%20-%204.pdf.pdf.

[7] G.O.RT.No. 237, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, April 12, 2020.

[8] G.O.Ms.No.:26, Department of Finance, Government of Andhra Pradesh, March 31, 2020.

[9] G.O.Ms.No.:27, Department of Finance, Government of Andhra Pradesh, April 4, 2020.