Telangana received 2.7 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine after the vaccination process in the state was suspended on Sunday due to a shortage of vaccines. State Health Minister Eatala Rajender had appealed to the Union government to address the issue immediately. In a press conference on Sunday, the minister revealed that shortage led to the decision to suspend the vaccination process on Sunday.
He said the state has the ability to provide COVID-19 vaccine to 10 lakh people a day but the vaccines are not available. Rajender said the state health officials were in regular touch with the Union government and stressed the need for immediate supplies to continue distribution.
He hoped that the Union government would take immediate steps to overcome the shortage of vaccines. The Union government said that it is providing vaccines depending on the production and the requirement of the respective states.
Rajender said he had already advised Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to make the vaccine available to all those above 25 years but there was no response. He also made it clear that there is no shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in the state, with 60,000 beds available in both the government and private hospitals.
He said the officials were in touch with the Union government to ensure uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen, noting that oxygen production comes under the purview of the Union government and the states cannot produce it.
Rajender said that Telangana currently required 260 tons of oxygen per day. However, the demand is likely to go up to 300 to 350 tons with the increase in the number of patients. The Health Minister also said it was not appropriate to force doctors to provide oxygen to patients when it is not needed. He said it was the responsibility of all to ensure there is no shortage of oxygen.
Similarly, there should be no demand for Remdesivir injection unless necessary, he said and advised hospitals to give the injection only when it is necessary. Stating that production of Remdesivir had come down after the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, Rajender hoped that the required number of injections would soon be available.
He said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a clear protocol for COVID-19 treatment. He pointed out that earlier COVID-19 symptoms were seen in 10-12 days but during the second wave, this period has come down to 2-3 days.