According to Naidu, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday morning gave him a call back in reply to his call last night and discussed about the way forward in the fight against COVID-19. "I told the Prime Minister that under his efficient leadership, right decision was made on lockdown-1. That helped India stand in the forefront of the battle against the virus. Many other countries are facing problems. You are building national consensus in the right spirit. Now testing should be increased and people should be prepared for future struggle," the TDP chief said.
Addressing a press conference, Naidu said if the Prime Minister had not announced lockdown, India's positive cases would have gone up to 8 lakh as per a forecast as against over 10,000 reported from all over the country till now.
Naidu recalled how the Prime Minister sternly extended the nationwide lockdown and declared relaxation starting April 20 for the sake of essential commodities.
"At the same time, tough restrictions will be imposed in areas where authorities report the spread of the virus. The infection transmission is very rapid in India as the first thousand cases were reported in 59 days, the second thousand cases in three days and the third thousand cases in two days with total reaching 10,450 now," he said.
Expressing concern over the economic blow which has led to a spectrum of socio-economic and psychological problems against COVID-19, he said: "Even a super power like the US is totally shaken and not able to handle coronavirus. The world's commercial capital of New York lies shattered with officials left alone to bury the dead with no family members turning up."
The TDP chief further accused Jaganmohan Reddy-led government in Andhra Pradesh of adopting a "strange attitude". Naidu cautioned that it was no time for "petty political advantage" taking when other states and countries were vigorously fighting against deadly disease.
He said while the Prime Minister has announced lockdown-2 despite serious economic problems, Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner asking his staff to prepare for elections is "wrong and incorrect".
He urged that the Andhra Pradesh government should deliver essential services to the doorsteps of poor families just like in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. "In Kerala, the ruling party is taking the opposition with it to fight the virus unitedly and the Prime Minister is building national consensus, while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minsiter is not taking other parties into confidence in this crucial moment," he said.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown in India, which was imposed till April 14, has been extended till May 3 with strict restrictions in place till April 20. Prime Minister Modi said that a decision on easing restrictions will be taken after a week, only at places which do not have COVID-19 hotspots.
( With inputs from ANI )