Andhra Pradesh

State gearing up to vaccinate one crore people initially

After successfully reducing the number of COVID-19 positive cases through a concerted effort during the last nine months, the government has turned its attention to administering the vaccine, which is likely to be ready in three months from now, in a phased manner, as it is impossible to provide inoculation to the entire five-crore population.

As per the guidelines framed by the Central government, which promised to make the vaccine available for one crore people initially, the State has put in place a mechanism for giving it to 3.60 lakh health workers (doctors, nurses, ANMs), about seven lakh frontline staff of other departments and 90 lakh people aged above 50 in that order of priority, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has said.

Making a statement on the COVID-19 containment measures in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy, and many other countries had witnessed a second wave of infections, which prompted the Indian government to caution the States against being complacent.

Accordingly, the State government continued to deal with it in all seriousness in spite of achieving tremendous success in keeping the number of fatalities and new infections at far lower levels than in most States.

Thrust areas

The focus remained on tracing, testing and treating people showing symptoms.

The number of deaths could be curtailed to single digit from a peak of a few hundreds reported every day at the height of the pandemic. So far, 7,014 persons died and the number of active cases stood at 6,000-plus. The mortality rate was 0.81% compared to 1.46% at the national level, he said.

The Chief Minister said the government had come a long way from the desperate stage where it had to send samples to the National Institute of Virology in Pune and wait for days to know the test results, to having 150 laboratories churning out reports on an hourly basis. This facilitated the conduct of 1.02 crore tests.

The government had taken over 243 hospitals, which included more than 120 private ones, for exclusively tackling the virus. Remdesivir and Tocilizumab injections, which cost ₹5,000 and ₹17,000 apiece respectively were stocked in all the hospitals. The State had more than 4,000 ventilators.

As far as the infrastructure needed for the vaccination drive is concerned, 4,065 cold chain units and 25 refrigerated vehicles have been arranged, and it has been contemplated to train the accredited social health activists in administering the vaccine to supplement the efforts of auxiliary nurse midwives. In addition to major government and private hospitals, 15 COVID care centres are still functional.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 7:21:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/state-gearing-up-to-vaccinate-one-crore-people-initially/article33253807.ece

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