Probable reasons behind the exponential rise in Andhra’s Covid-19 infection

Before I begin reasoning out, let me first appreciate the efforts of the governments and especially the people in putting up a brave fight against this pandemic.

Now let’s question — Why should we be even asking this question only for the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP), while most of the states are seeing a similar rise in their covid numbers? Answer to this question is, — AP doesn’t have any major metro city like that of Mumbai or Chennai, and it has been majorly observed until recently that this horrible disease spreads like wildfire in major cities when compared to less urban and the rural areas. So, why does AP have these high numbers?

Now, let us first get the obvious reason out of our way, i.e AP has been testing quite a bit and for mere perspective, they tested more than double than that of Telangana. So, now with the obvious being stated, let’s examine the other probable reasons.

I see, there could be 3 contributing factors

1: People’s Behaviour

2: Neighbouring state influence

3: Societal structure

1: People’s Behaviour:

Many have asked this question, “How come Telangana (TG)which has Hyderabad has much lesser numbers than that of AP?”. Both the states share a lot in common and have a lot of similarities and with Hyderabad being in TG, the TG numbers should ideally be higher than that of AP! The probable reason could be the People’s Behaviour, Covid spread largely depends on our movements, so how we behave has an appending factor to the Covid spread.

In Jan, I have in detail reasoned out about the Public behaviour and how Hyderabad especially the western part of Hyderabad looks deserted during the Sankranthi week. So, I believe this public behaviour could be a major contributing factor in the spread within AP, but how? Hyderabad being a major city had concentrated infection areas aka containment zones majorly in western parts of the city for many months including the lockdown period. And when lockdown was lifted, and the state borders were opened, the Andhra people who have been working and contributing to Hyderabad’s success and who have settled in West hyderabad in particular have moved back to their cities and villages in AP and took the virus with them to the deepest parts of AP. This behaviour is similar to what we observe during the Sankranthi week.

AP — TG border (source: newindianexpress)

So, what was majorly restricted to containment zones in Hyderabad was now spread to various interior regions of AP. Since it was present in pockets in Hyderabad, it was not very tough for the administrators to control that spread further in Hyderabad. Whereas, AP now faces a daunting task to control the virus due to the nature of its spread! Another question arises how come the people from interiors of TG who have settled in Hyderabad didn’t take the virus with them back to their villages in TG? So, the answer to this again is people’s behaviour again! We don’t see mass movements during major TG festivals like Bonalu when we compare it to that of the Andhra’s major festival Sankranthi. This could be due to the reason that TG people don’t miss home in Hyderabad as much as the people from AP does, as culture in Hyderabad is almost the same as that of any other region of TG. So, both in happiness and in need the people of Andhra tend to travel to their hometowns while people from TG don’t usually do that. And when this Covid calamity stuck the people form AP who were living in Hyderabad, they travelled back to their home and unknowingly took the virus along. This exactly what may have happened and this became a reason for such a wide spread of Covid in cities and villages of AP.

2: Neighbouring state:

The neighbouring state Tamil Nadu, is fighting the spread of the virus from long time and with Rayalseema bordering TN a lot of people and culture exchange happens across the border for example if we ever visit Tirumala we can sense the strong Tamil culture influence in Tirumala. This may be one other reason for the spread of Covid in AP

3: Societal structure:

It is commonly and jokingly said that, At least one person from each of the Telugu families in AP has settled in the USA! So, the first carriers of the virus to our nation who have come from overseas, a large section of them must have landed in AP and then taken their routes to the interiors of AP. This again may have led to the spread!

I am not claiming with a certain authority that the above reasons are all true and must definitely have occurred. I am only trying to put my perspectives to bring out the reasons behind the meteoric rise of Covid in AP!!

  • Harish Bheemarthi