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The Telangana Health Minister said the Union government can use the powers at its disposal to procure oxygen, drugs and vaccines needed by states.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender addressing the mediaBy arrangement
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 18:12

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender slammed the Union government while addressing a press conference on April 29. When the Health Minister spoke about oxygen, Remdesivir and vaccines he stated that the Centre isn’t doing enough to ease the present situation the states are in. He also said that the Centre had spoken about a second wave but never mentioned that it would be of this magnitude.

‘Centre needs to rework vaccine strategy’

The Health Minister revealed that Telangana has 1.75 crore people between the 18 to 45 age group and that the state would require 3.5 crores doses of vaccine to inoculate everyone in this category. Rajender felt that the Centre needs to rework its vaccine strategy and that the vaccines should be completely provided by the Union government. “The Centre needs to have an idea about how many people are there in this age group. What is the plan of the Centre? Are they planning to import from other countries? How many vaccines will be given to the states? A strategy needs to be made and the same should be shared with the states. The Centre needs to rework its strategy in regards to vaccines. It isn’t right to disown states at a time like this,” said the Health Minister.

When asked by when will the state decide its vaccine plan for those in the new category, the Health Minister said, “We are in talks with the Union government. Based on the availability of vaccines we will plan. The technical aspect of this issue is that once a vaccine is administered, the second dose also needs to be the same vaccine. If we start in a hurry on a large scale, then we may run out of vaccines for the second dose. We trusted the Centre and began vaccination because they had assured us that vaccines would be made available on time. Now in some places, we aren’t able to administer the second dose.”

Oxygen

The Health Minister stated that the Centre had allotted 360 MT of oxygen for Telangana. He said keeping in mind that the second wave is expected to peak in mid-May, the allocation of oxygen to the state should be increased to 600 MT. He also reiterated the state’s demand that the allocation of the source of oxygen should be nearer to the state.

“The Union government has the railways, the military, and also the required machinery at its disposal but despite all this, it is a shame that people are dying due to the lack of oxygen. Such news during a health emergency makes people lose their confidence in the government. They end up feeling that the government is not in a position to safeguard its people. The Centre needs to procure adequate oxygen and it needs to be supplied to all the states. If the Union govt can’t afford it, they should ask states to pay for the share of oxygen that is being sent to them”, said the Health Minister.

Remdesivir

When it was brought to the notice of the Health Minister that drugs like Remdesivir are being sold for extremely high prices in the black market, he again blamed the Centre. He said, “The shortage of Remdesivir isn’t a state issue, it is a national issue. The same situation prevails in all other states. The Central government needs to do something about this as they have the power at their disposal during a health emergency like this. If not, the Centre needs to import Remdesivir and make it available and then the states can buy it.”

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