Days after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao took over the Health portfolio, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar addressed a press conference on the COVID-19 situation in the state. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, May 5, he claimed that trends indicate that the virus is under control in the state and that the situation is improving.
The chief secretary began the press conference by saying that the Chief Minister is closely monitoring the situation and that he calls up 3-4 times a day to take stock of the situation. He also said that CM KCR has asked the officials to spend how much ever is needed for whatever necessary to protect the people of the state. â€śTelangana is doing much better compared to other states in the country. There are ample beds, no shortage of medicines nor consumables in the state,â€ť said Somesh Kumar.
Beds in hospitals
Somesh Kumar stated that in September 2020, the state had only 18,000 beds, however, the number has now been increased to 52,000. He said this is why the state did not have to worry despite an increase in the number of cases reported.
He added that people from across states are coming to Hyderabad for treatment â€śHyderabad is the medical treatment capital of India. Altogether, 33 air ambulances have come to Hyderabad from places including Delhi. This is due to the medical facilities available in Hyderabad," he said
Remdesivir and other drugs
Somesh Kumar also added that there is no shortage of medicines and consumables in the state. â€śTelangana has an adequate number of medicines including Remdesivir and Tocilizumab. We have 90,000 Remdesivir vials and 63,000 Tocilizumab vials. The situation is under control. Hoarding and fear of shortage is the problem. There is no shortage of drugs in the state," said Somesh Kumar.
The chief secretary also claimed that the state has 6.8 lakh home isolation kits on hand which contains necessary medicines required for those in home isolation.
The state can produce 125 MT per day. Presently 430 MT of oxygen has been allotted to Telangana by the Union government. Oxygen is being procured from Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. According to Somesh Kumar, a total of 48 tankers were airlifted to procure oxygen in order to save time. Railways are also being used to transport oxygen.
â€śThe state has 27 oxygen refillers and 63 oxygen sellers. We have our teams deployed at all these places. Telangana is managing oxygen efficiently. Keeping in mind the increasing cases, 600MT of oxygen will be required. We are trying various possibilities to bring in more oxygen,â€ť said Somesh. He also mentioned that an oxygen audit is being carried out in all hospitals in the state to ensure the judicious use of oxygen.
Vaccines and vaccination
The chief secretary reiterated that walk-ins will no longer be encouraged and that people will have to register and book a slot in advance to get vaccinated in the state. He also said that private hospitals will have to procure their own vaccines and then administer them to those above 45 years.
Speaking about the vaccination drive for those between 18 and 45 years of age, Somesh said, â€śIt was a good decision to vaccinate those above 18 years. But Telangana needs 3.4 crore vaccines to vaccinate those in this category. We have only 3.9 lakh vaccines with us. Despite having a company in the state manufacturing the vaccine, which state is given how much is controlled by the Central government.â€ť
The chief secretary also said that due to the shortage of vaccines, the state has not started vaccinating those between 18-45 years as yet.