Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, categorically ruling out lockdown in Telangana, stepped up efforts on Thursday to check the spread of coronavirus in the State. He spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought immediate increase in oxygen, Remdesivir and vaccine allocations to the State in the wake of spurt in Covid-19 cases.
Chandrashekhar Rao brought to the notice of the Prime Minister that the State is not getting oxygen from Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and Bellary in Karnataka. He also pointed out that with Hyderabad emerging as a medical hub, many people from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh are making a beeline for treatment in the city that placed additional burden on the medical infrastructure in Hyderabad.
The Chief Minister said 50 per cent of the patients in the city are from other States, and this resulted in an adverse impact on the availability of oxygen, vaccines and Remdesivir injections.
Under these circumstances, the Chief Minister sought increase in the supply of oxygen to 500 metric tonnes against the existing daily supply of 440 metric tonnes, while Remdesivir injections should also be increased to 25,000 per day against the daily allocation of just 4,900 vials. He also pointed out that there is a requirement of 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh of vaccines for Telangana and urged Modi to ensure supply of the required numbers immediately.
Responding to the Chief Minister’s request and following instructions from the Prime Minister, Union Minister Piyush Goyal spoke to the Chief Minister and assured him that necessary steps would be taken to supply oxygen, medicines and vaccines. Goyal also assured that oxygen would be supplied from the northern States instead of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The Chief Minister, who returned to Pragathi Bhavan after recovering from Covid-19, held a high-level review meeting to take stock of the situation. Lockdown, he said, would not be imposed in the State as it would paralyse normal life and cripple the State finances.
The decision, he said, was taken after taking into account experiences, as also the fact that cases were not coming down in States which had imposed lockdown.
Chandrashekhar Rao discussed in detail the existing supply of oxygen and Remdesivir injections and the availability of oxygen beds and vaccines. He spoke to the manufacturers of Remdesivir and asked them to increase its availability.
Presently, there are 9,500 beds with oxygen and it would be increased by another 5,000 beds within a week. He asked Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to import 12 cryogenic tankers each costing Rs 1 crore from China and instructed him to complete the process immediately.
He said as many as 5,980 Covid outpatient centres were established at Primary Health Centres and Community and Health Hospitals in the State and asked people to utilise services at these centres.
Pointing out that 1.56 lakh positive cases were reported in government and private hospitals in the State, Chandrashekhar Rao said of these, 85 per cent (1.30 lakh) had recovered. He instructed officials to conduct a media briefing every day to put out the information pertaining to total positive cases, the number of people recovered and those in isolation along with the number of people undergoing treatment in government and private hospitals in the public domain. He instructed the Director of Health to take responsibility in this regard.
A special officer should be appointed to monitor the measures taken for the control of Covid, Chandrashekhar Rao said and instructed Principal Secretary (Finance) K Ramakrishna Rao to release required funds.
The Chief Minister said priority should be given to vaccine administration within the prescribed time to those who had already taken the first jab. He also spoke to IICT Director S Chandrasekhar over the phone and discussed the measures to be taken to stock oxygen.
Following IICT Director’s advice, Rao gave instructions to Health Department officials to purchase 500 oxygen enrichers.
The Municipal and Panchayat Raj officials should take the necessary steps to spray sodium hypochlorite to ensure hygienic conditions in villages. Elected representatives should be involved in this initiative. Advising people not to panic, he suggested that they collect Covid kits from Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs).