Health authorities in Telangana said on Tuesday that COVID-19 vaccination in the state will resume only after they receive an adequate number of vaccines. Nearly three lakh people are waiting for the second dose of Covaxin in Telangana but only 50,000 doses are available with the state. The next batch of vaccines is expected to arrive in a fortnight.
Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G Srinivasa Rao told the media on Tuesday that the state wants to ensure adequate vaccine volumes, before resuming vaccination. He told reporters that nearly three lakh people are waiting for the second dose of Covaxin but only 50,000 doses are available. The Union government has indicated that more doses will be supplied in 15 days.
The official said after the time interval between the first and second dose of Covishield was increased to 12-16 weeks, no one in the state is due for the second dose of this vaccine yet.
He clarified that doses are allocated to targeted groups according to the guidelines issued by the Union government. Allocation of doses for people above 45 years, or for 18-44 years is decided by the Union government, he said.
Though 4.90 lakh doses were procured for the 18-44 age group, no decision was taken so far on who should be vaccinated because the target population is 1.90 crore. The Chief Minister will make a decision who in this age group should be given priority for vaccination. Global tenders for vaccines will most likely be released on Wednesday to procure 2 to 2.5 crore vaccines for Telangana, informed Rao.
Director of Medical Education K Ramesh Reddy appealed to people not to panic over black fungus infection. There are 50 black fungus patients at the Government ENT Hospital and the Gandhi Hospital while there are 30 more patients at private hospitals.
The government will form a committee soon to examine the requirement of medicines for black fungus patients undergoing treatment at hospitals. The panel will examine the severity of the cases and will give permission accordingly. People can get the medicine from stockists. He hoped that the situation would stabilise in a couple of days.
The official noted that some hospitals are indiscriminately prescribing drugs and patients' attendants are running around chemists for the medicines. He advised people with diabetes and immunocompromised patients to regularly check their sugar levels. If the sugar levels are in control, there will be no problem.
Srinivasa Rao said the action was being taken against private hospitals for overcharging COVID-19 patients. A private hospital's license to treat COVID-19 cases has been cancelled while show-cause notices have been issued to three more hospitals for excess billing or injudicious oxygen usage. He pointed out that 26 complaints against private hospitals were lodged through Whatsapp number 9154170960. Grievances regarding medical services and billing can be lodged on this number.
Rao urged people to avail services at government hospitals, which are offering free treatment. He said since some money has to be paid at private hospitals for treatment, it is not good to get admitted there and then lodge complaints.