Govt. to consider including COVID-19 treatment under Aarogyasri: KCR

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that the government will consider the request for including treatment for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) under the Aarogyasri scheme.

The government will also examine the proposal for providing isolation facilities for patients hailing from below poverty line families in the government hospitals. The State would also discuss with senior officials about the scope for announcing a relief package for the families of the poor who suffered job losses due to the pandemic. Replying to a short discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on the State, the Chief Minister said he would appoint a committee headed by a senior bureaucrat to examine reports relating to private hospitals charging exorbitant fees for treating COVID-19 patients. “It is atrocious on the part of the managements of these hospitals to fleece patients during the pandemic time. The government is committed to take stringent action against those found guilty of such practices,” he said.

The information relating to the activities of the committee would be informed to the opposition members from time to time so that they could give their feedback and suggestions on the corrective steps that were required. He was responding to a request made by Congress member Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka who expressed concern over the exorbitant charges levied by the private hospitals. Mr. Vikramarka charged the government with total failure in containing the spread of the virus and said the State could not step up the medical infrastructure in spite of the rising incidence of COVID-19 since the last six months.

The Chief Minister said Telangana was the first State to alert the Central government about coronavirus and it was the first State to seek stoppage of international flights. The government took timely action to contain the spread of the virus and these steps had ensured that the State was on better footing as compared to several others and the Central government. The recovery rate in the State was higher compared to the national average while the case fatality rate was much lower at less than 0.7 per cent against the national average of 1.35.

“The government did whatever possible and we left no stone unturned in instilling confidence among the people,” he asserted. The situation was under control and had not got out of “our hands” because of the steps initiated by the government in advance. The government at the same time had ensured that there was no stoppage of welfare activities and had imposed cut in the salaries of employees and elected representatives to meet the shortfall.

Confusion created

Explaining about the impact of COVID-19, he said the WHO as well as the ICMR changed their guidelines more than once creating confusion among the people and the administration. The State, however, had positioned adequate quantities of medicines, PPE kits, N95 masks and other necessary equipment besides enhancing the capacity of the hospitals in tracing, tracking and treating patients. “We have kept close to ₹ 4,000 crore in reserve and the government is prepared to spend ₹ 10,000 crore if need be, to protect the lives of the people,” he averred, asserting that the pandemic was not because of the failure of the government.

The Chief Minister took a dig at the Opposition for trying to target the government in spite of the best efforts it had put in to check the spread of the pandemic. “I am observing the attitude of the Opposition right from the beginning. The Congress in particular is trying to politicise every aspect of the pandemic,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 2:33:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/govt-to-consider-including-covid-19-treatment-under-aarogyasri-kcr/article32567165.ece

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