Hyderabad: Telangana was way ahead of other States and performing better than the national average in the vaccination programme. “We are also making all efforts to ensure increased supplies from the Central government,” said Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao here on Thursday.
The Minister, who answered a variety of questions from Twitterati during an “Ask KTR” live session, spoke about his personal isolation experience to the decision on imposing lockdown, vaccine for children to India seeking help from other countries, among other things.
Apart from wishes, Twitter users posed questions and gave some suggestions as well. The two- hour session with hashtag #AskKTR was trending among the top topics in the country.
Responding to a series of questions on ‘vaccination for all’, the Minister said: “We are performing better than the national average in vaccination & also better than other States. But the challenge is vaccine availability.” He shared the Relative Vaccine performance details as on May 11, which placed Telangana’s vaccination performance (per million population) at 1,41,939 against India’s 1,29,574. Neighbouring States such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh recorded 87,021 and 139,986 respectively.
When questioned about oxygen cylinders and Remdesiver being sold at extremely high prices, the Minister said: “Challenge of oxygen availability is across the country. Central Government has taken complete control over the distribution by State. On Remdesivir, we are doing an audit of private hospitals on consumption. Have found some cases of indiscriminate usage and we are also told doctors are under pressure from patients and their attendants to recommend Remdesivir even in cases where it’s not needed (anxiety for well being of their loved ones). We also made arrests of many persons who indulged in black marketing. Will continue to audit and contain unnecessary hoarding.”
When Dr Harika stated that vaccine slots were not available for booking, Rama Rao said: “So far in Telangana, out of the total 45 plus population of 92.24 lakhs, we have vaccinated 45.37 lakh people with first dose. Second dose has been given to more than 10.3 lakh people. As I had mentioned, vaccine distribution is currently being handled only by Government of India.”
He said the State government was working on getting increased supplies from the Central government and was also simultaneously engaged in discussions with vaccine manufacturers. But the supplies will only start meeting demand across the country hopefully by late July or early August. Till then it’s going to be a challenge, he said.
“We are in discussions with all three vaccine makers; Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute and Dr Reddy Labs. Will do our best to procure as much as we can,” he said, in another tweet.
Replying to a series of questions on improvement of health infrastructure in Telangana in the past one year between the first and second wave, the Minister shared a detailed chart and said oxygen beds were 9,213 in September 2020 which had now gone up to 20,739 in May 2021.
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