Hyderabad: MA&UD Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday said Hyderabad is taking care of Covid patients from not only Telangana but also Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. “My sincere and wholehearted gratitude to the fabulous efforts of healthcare workers both in government and private sector,” he said.
The Minister was responding to Twitterati’s questions on various aspects of Covid and vaccination at an over two-hour interactive session with the hashtag #Askktr.
When asked about his opinion on taking further his brainchild, the Hyderabad Pharma City, the Minister said: “If anything, it showed how important our pharma industry is. Earlier, we had called Hyderabad Pharma City a project of national importance but now clearly it is going to be a project of international importance.”
Talking about the procurement of vaccines at the State level, the Minister said the Union government has mandated that 85 per cent of all production be handed over to it. From the remaining 15 per cent, all the States and institutions have to compete. “It’s easier to procure for a few hundred employees, but the challenge is manifold when your State population is 3.6 crore,” he said.
When asked to share some tips and relief measures he followed while he was in isolation, the Minister replied: “Follow the advice of medical experts (not WhatsApp experts), stay strong mentally, plan ahead for post-Covid, stop watching news channels and stop reading unnecessary WhatsApp/Facebook posts, exercise as much as you can; even walking if you can. Don’t self medicate.”
On the right channel for citizens to seek help related to Covid, the Minister said: “Please contact 108/104 for all kinds of questions or issues with respect to Covid. Alternately, if you are a GHMC resident, you can also call 040-21111111.”
Sharing his personal experience with Covid, he said: “I had seven consecutive days of low to high grade fever followed by an infection of lungs. As I am a diabetic, controlling blood sugars and hypertension was also a challenge. But I just followed the instructions. While I feel weak now, am almost back to normal.”
When asked about starting vaccination for the age group above 18, the Minister said: “Problem is the availability of vaccine. We are making all efforts to procure as much as we can. Right now the focus is to get the second dose to all those 45 lakh people who have taken the first dose.”
When asked about the use of Gift-A-Smile ambulances donated by public representatives marking his birthday, he replied: “About 90 of them are already functional and are serving the people in this pandemic.”
Responding to a question on vaccination drive in Telangana, the Minister said: “Ideally 70 per cent of the population being vaccinated should break the chain. So out of the 2.9 crore adult population, we need to vaccinate 1.9 crore people. Since it’s a two-dose vaccine, we need 3.8 crore doses.”
On the extension of lockdown further, the Minister replied that the State Cabinet would take a decision on May 20.
Helpline for children
Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said the State Government has launched a special help desk for children who lost their parents or guardians to Covid and are in need of assistance. To seek help, dial 040-23733665 between 9 am to 6 pm or call on childline 1098. The Minister also shared that Covaxin trials had also begun for children. “Hopefully, it can be administered for children aged between 5-18 also,” he added.
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