The Telangana government has requested the Union government for enhanced allocation of COVID-19 vaccines and oxygen to the state. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar has written to the Union government, seeking more vaccines and a higher allocation of oxygen. The top bureaucrat is monitoring the COVID-19 situation under the direction of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who on Saturday took over the health portfolio from Eatala Rajender following allegations that he forcibly occupied lands of farmers in Medak district.
Read: Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender removed after allegations of land grabbing
The Chief Secretary recently held a meeting with top officials to review the COVID-19 situation in the state. According to a statement released after the review meeting, the Union government has only allocated 4.4 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for Telangana for the expansion of the vaccination drive in May, for a population of 1.72 crore people in the age group of 18-44 years.
Earlier, the Union government had allotted 8.35 lakh doses for the first fortnight of May, to vaccinate those above 45 years of age. This is against a requirement of 30.45 lakh doses.
Though constant monitoring and bringing in oxygen from other parts of India has helped the state maintain satisfactory oxygen supply, the need for it will grow as hospitals see increased occupancy. Efforts are on to augment the supplies, the IAS officer said.
The Chief Secretary has written to the government of India to allocate 600 tonnes of oxygen to the state, increased from the present allocation of 430 tonnes per day. It was decided at the meeting that oxygen supply will be created for an additional 10,000 beds in government hospitals taking the total number to 20,000.
In September 2020, there were 18,232 COVID-19 beds in the state in the government and private sector. This has been increased to 49,133 beds. Efforts are on to further increase the number to 60,000 beds, he added. The meeting also decided to set up call centres in all districts to cater to the needs of COVID-19 positive patients.
It was also decided that 5 lakh free medical kits are to be arranged for COVID-19 patients and other symptomatic persons in home isolation, in addition to the existing 7.5 lakh kits. There will be a provision for home delivery of these kits as well.
A team headed by IAS officer Sandeep Sultania is working to avoid any shortage of essential drugs and consumables.
In view of the demand for drugs like Remdesivir, a special team headed by IAS officer Jayesh Ranjan has been constituted to procure adequate quantities for the state.
Senior IAS officers have been appointed as special officers for major government hospitals in Hyderabad to further improve the quality of services.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had instructed the Chief Secretary to be very cautious about the COVID surge in the state. He also asked him to review the issue thrice a day and personally monitor the situation.
The CM deputed his Secretary Rajasekhar Reddy to regularly monitor the Corona pandemic from CMO.
He also instructed all the higher officials in the medical and health department to be on high alert and work effectively to free the state from the clutches of COVID as early as possible.