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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Telangana, Andhra ramp up testing, facilities as new hotspots emerge

In AP, the government has prepared a 3-pronged strategy to tackle the surge, according to officials.  District collectors have been given powers to take over private hospitals in their districts to arrange for beds for Covid-19 patients.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
April 28, 2021 8:33:50 am
Andhra covid cases, telangana covid cases, Telangana, Andhra ramp up testing, Andhra Pradesh testing, Telangana hotspots, Indian expressCovid-19 patients are treated at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, Saturday. (PTI)

The governments of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana have started ramping up medical infrastructure to combat the rising number of Covid-19 cases in their respective states. The move comes at a time when 9,881 new cases and 51 deaths were reported in AP while Telangana reported 10,122 new cases and 52 deaths in a single day on Tuesday.

In AP, the government has prepared a 3-pronged strategy to tackle the surge, according to officials.  District collectors have been given powers to take over private hospitals in their districts to arrange for beds for Covid-19 patients.

The total number of cases in the state stands at 10,43,441 with 94,05,74 recoveries and 7,736 deaths. East Godavari with 1,36,570 cases and Chittoor with 1,10,832 cases are the two worst affected districts in the state. Guntur, Nellore and Visakhapatnam are also emerging as new hotspots.

From April 24, a night curfew has been put in place in the state between 10 pm and 5 am. The government has also ramped up testing. While 31,619 tests were conducted in the state on April 21, 74,041 tests were conducted on April 26.

“The number of deaths has increased because people are coming too late to hospitals. Mortality rate among people with comorbidities is also high. One problem is shortage of oxygen at some hospitals due to lack of transportation facilities,” said an official of the health department.

According to officials, 64 vehicles are presently transporting oxygen to hospitals in the state but at least another 100 vehicles are required to meet the increased demand.

According to health officials, 515 metric tons of oxygen will be required in the state for full capacity but currently 284 metric tons are available.

Health Minister A K Krishna Srinivas said the government has placed an order for supply of 100 metric tons of oxygen from a facility in Visakhapatnam, as well as facilities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Also, the number of Covid-19 hospitals in the state has been increased from 100 to 381 as the government took over some private hospitals.  These hospitals have 32,588 beds, of which 14,962 beds are presently occupied.

A total of 4,788 ICU beds, 16,829 oxygen beds, and 10,971 general beds are also available, however, large crowds of patients could be seen at some of the state’s biggest government hospitals including,   King George Hospital at Visakhapatnam, Government General Hospital (GGH) at Vijayawada, GGH Kakinada, District Hospital, Rajahmundry and Sri Padmavati Hospital at Tirupati.

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