Andhra Pradesh

Officials grappling with spike in cases and surge in demand for vaccination

Collector M. Hari Narayanan speaking to medical teams during his inspection of the COVID ward at the district hospital in Chittoor on Friday.  

The alarming rise in the COVID-19 cases in what is considered the second wave, coupled with the stock of vaccines running dry, is unnerving the people and officials as well in Chittoor district.

On Friday, the number of new infections was 496 in the district, the highest in the State and also the highest since September last.

While half of the new cases were reported from the limits of the Tirupati Municipal Corporation and its surrounding areas, the rapid rise in their number in the eastern mandals – from Satyavedu to Nagari – was a cause for concern.

The temple town of Srikalahasti, which had taken the brunt during April-July last, reported 12 cases on the day.

The spike in cases was seen in 56 out of 66 mandals in the district.

In this backdrop, the eligible people (those above 45 years with comorbidities and senior citizens), who till a month ago had been reluctant to get themselves vaccinated, were increasingly coming forward to take the shot fearing that the vaccine stock would soon exhaust.

Meanwhile, a senior officer in the District Medical and Health Office confirmed that the entire stock of vaccines ran dry on Friday.

In spite of the District Collector’s insistence on expediting the vaccination drive on the one hand and tackling the new cases and tracing the primary and secondary contacts on the other, things have not been moving as expected, allegedly due to lack of coordination among the COVID task force teams in various municipalities and mandal headquarters.

The field staff of the Medical and Health wing have reportedly expressed their difficulty in handling the new cases.

“Several senior citizens who had missed the vaccination when the election campaign was at its peak are descending on the vaccination centres now. But, they are forced to return without taking the jab,” according to a medical officer in the Madanapalle division.

Meanwhile, District Collector Hari Narayanan inspected the district headquarters hospital here and instructed the officials to take steps to create facilities for the COVID-19 patients.

“All the staff should work in coordination as there is a need to build confidence among the people that we are well prepared to tackle the pandemic,” the Collector said.

Later, in a teleconference with the district and mandal-level officials, he reviewed the arrangements for the special vaccination drive scheduled from April 11 to 14.

‘Stock has arrived’

Meanwhile, COVID Vaccination Drive special officer M. Sireesha told The Hindu that a stock of 20,000 doses of vaccine had arrived in Chittoor district on Friday evening.

“There is nothing to worry. We are going to get additional stocks soon,” she said.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 12:07:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/officials-grappling-with-spike-in-cases-and-surge-in-demand-for-vaccination/article34285898.ece

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