Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Alla Krishna Srinivas on Thursday said that there was no need for people to panic amid the second wave of the coronavirus and assured citizens that the state government was intensifying its efforts to bring the pandemic under control.
"Intensifying COVID-19 preventive measures, the state government has chalked out a strategy to contain the virus spread," said Srinivas, seeking to assure the public that the government will handle the situation. On Thursday, the minister held a press conference after a group of ministers (GoM) meeting to brief citizens about measures taken by the state government.
"The committee had discussed key issues in containing the virus, steps to be taken to bring down the number of cases, oxygen supply, testing, vaccination and shall present the recommendations to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in the next review meeting," he said.
He assured that certain measures were taken to ensure that there is no shortage of oxygen or medicines in hospitals across the state, including noting that oxygen supply is in line with the requirement level.
"Currently, the state needs 360 metric tons of oxygen and there is no problem for government hospitals. The Union government will provide assistance to set up a new oxygen plant in the state," Srinivas said. He added that the Chief Minister is constantly reviewing the situation and has instructed officials to be ready to face any situation.
Srinivas said the government is trying to speed up the vaccination programme, under which 49 lakh people have been inoculated. He also warned private hospitals that strict action would be taken against them if they charge for treatment beyond what was mandated, and called on them to act humanely amid the crisis.
Meanwhile, Andhra Minister for Industries Mekapati Gowtham Reddy said that there is no shortage of oxygen in the state while stating that they will export to other states after meeting the statesâ€™ requirement.
He said that 40 different industries were tasked to produce as many as 510 metric tonnes of oxygen. According to the minister, districts such as Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore and Kurnool, which are the worst-hit with COVID-19 needed to be supplied oxygen on an immediate basis. A special control command is going to be set up to oversee oxygen supply, he added.