Hyderabad India social distancing
A policeman tries to disburse people who gathered without maintaining social distancing while receiving relief food amid coronavirus pandemic at Bahadurpura, in Hyderabad on Sunday. Image Credit: ANI

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has strongly condemned the attempts to give a communal colour to the deadly corona pandemic in the country in the backdrop of many people getting infected at Tableegi Jamat congregation in Delhi.

The statement came at a time when the spread of the deadly virus had picked up pace in both the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

While AP registered a record 36 new cases since Saturday night and the total number of cases had gone up to 226, the situation in Telangana was equally grim as new cluster of infected people were emerging every day.

In Kurnool district of AP 23 positive cases were detected in about 12 hours since Saturday night, many of them had attended Delhi meeting.

In Adilabad district of Telangana ten participants of the congregation tested positive on Saturday night and they were shifted to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. 25 others were found negative.

Community targeted

On the whole Telangana has recorded 272 cases and 11 deaths so far. The spread of the virus had gained pace across the state. While the first hundred cases were registered over a period of 30 days, the next one hundred cases were registered in just four days, an official press note said.

As many of these new cases were of the people who had attended the religious congregation in Delhi or their contacts, a section of media and many on social media were actively targeting a particularly religious community.

Amid the criticism that the virus had spread fast because of the congregation, Jaganamohan Reddy said in his video message, “some people from our state went to a religious congregation at Delhi where the members from foreign countries had also come. Some of them are said to be infected and the coronavirus had spread from there. There is no reason why the spread should be attributed to a particular community but be seen as an unfortunate incident that happened there”.

“It could have happened anywhere in congregation of any other. There is no reason to discriminate them and attribute motives, as the spread was not intentional. Religious congregations are being held elsewhere by Ravi Shankar, Jaggi Vasu Dev, Mata Amritananda, Paul Dinakaran or John Wesley”, the chief minister said.