Covid contained; One Crore Vaccines to State: Jagan
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the State government had effectively controlled the COVID-19 pandemic, but still precautions must be taken for some more time and as the vaccine is expected to come in the next three months.
Concluding the short discussion on Covid-19, the Chief Minister said the State can take pride in recording more than one crore tests and containing the spread effectively but at the same time the onset of winter has every chance of a possible spike and precautionary measure should be taken for at least three months.
Post elections, the US is reeling under second wave of COVID, where two lakh cases are being reported on a daily basis with 2500 deaths. United Kingdom, France, Italy are under lockdown, and back home, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have also imposed night curfew. With the onset of winter, the chances of COVID wave is high and we should take all precautionary measures.
As far as the COVID vaccines are concerned, the Union Government had promised the State to provide one crore vaccines in the first phase, which will be provided to the frontline staff of about seven lakh, healthcare workers of 3.6 lakh, and senior citizens of 90 lakh. In regard to this, the State government has been framing guidelines for the distribution of vaccines and developing the storage and transport facilities.
The Chief Minister said that cold chain storage units are needed to store the vaccine between 2-8 degrees centigrade. So far, 4065 units were set up, in addition to 29 refrigerated vehicles to transport the vaccine. Since the vaccination has to be done by professionals, 19,000 ANMs will be roped in and even Asha workers will be trained for additional support. The State government had constituted taskforce committees at village, mandal and district levels to coordinate and effective implementation.
Recalling the COVID-19 pandemic from March, the Chief Minister said that so far, 8.70 lakh were affected with COVID and conducted 1.02 Crore tests covering almost 20 percent of the population in the State, standing first among other states in the country. While the average positivity rate is 8.51 percent, the death rate is only 0.81 percent. The government implemented an effective control system by developing the testing facilities, setting Covid care centres, and establishing a structured network right from 104 toll-free number to telemedicine. The number of virology labs quickly went up to 150 and there has been constantly monitoring and the trace, test and treat method was effective.
Speaking on Aarogyasri scheme, the Chief Minister said that the government had brought a facelift to YSR Aarogyasri scheme, where a total of 2436 treatment procedures were included and were made available even in 130 State hospitals in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. The government had not only cleared the pending bills to the network hospitals during TDP reign but also brought a green channel system, where the bills will be cleared in less than three weeks. He stated that all the Aarogyasri hospitals are being graded based on the facilities and infrastructure to ensure best service is being given to the patients and soon, all the empanelled hospitals will be equipped with a help desk where an Aarogya mitra will be appointed.
The government has been giving up to Rs 5000 per month under Aarogya Aasara, to support the patients during their recovery period and further providing pensions from Rs 3000-10000 per month to those people suffering from chronic ailments. Besides these, the state government is revamping all the existing hospitals right from PHC’s to teaching hospitals under the Nadu Nedu project, developing as per National Standards and 16 new medical colleges are to be established in the State with a budget of Rs 16,000 Crore.
Commencing a short discussion on Arogyasri- Containing Corona – Government measures, Health Minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas praised the services of doctors, para- medical staff, Employees of Village/Ward Secretariats, volunteers, sanitation workers, ASHA workers and ANMs during the pandemic. The Minister said Andhra Pradesh stood first among the big states by conducting 1,91,568 tests per million while the national average is 1,03,502 and only 6,742 active cases are existing across the state at present. He said people should be cautious, wear masks and maintain social distance in the wake of the second wave of COVID 19.
The Minister said an action plan has been developed, under the leadership of the Chief Minister, to distribute COVID vaccine in phases across the state. The State Government has given financial assistance along with rice and essential commodities to poor people during the pandemic despite financial constraints. He said 122 APSRTC buses are set up as mobile units for sample collection centers.