Updated: July 27, 2020 5:42:59 am
With the number of critical Covid-19 patients and deaths from the infection in Andhra Pradesh rising sharply, along with a jump of over 80,000 in the overall number of cases this month, the state government has ordered 90,000 doses of anti-viral drug Remdesivir.
According to official data, 1,041 deaths have been reported in the state so far — 707 of them from July 13 to 25. The case count in the state has gone up from 14,515 on June 30 to 96,298 as of July 26.
Hetero Pharma will deliver the first consignment of 15,000 doses this week while the remaining will be delivered over the next three weeks, according to officials.
Officials said Sunday that the state is now carrying out 50,000 tests per day. The focus of the testing is on high risk groups — the elderly, those with co-morbidities, industrial workers, and people working or living in confined spaces.
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The number of deaths in the state crossed the 1,000 mark Sunday. East Godavari and Kurnool districts were the worst-affected in terms of the number of cases with with 13,486 cases and 11,570 respectively.
“Looking at the number of Covid-19 cases, at least 7-8 per cent will need critical care. The 90,000 doses we have ordered would be sufficient even if the number of positive cases touches 2 lakh. People in critical care need 5-7 doses — a cost of Rs 35,000 per course,” Health Minister A K Krishna Srinivas told The Indian Express.
Speaking on the rising number of cases, Srinivas said, “people need not worry about the high rate of positive patients as it reaches a peak and is bound to slide.”
Patients with serious symptoms are being treated with Remdesivir and another anti-viral drug Tocilizumab.
Further, officials said the government has decided invest Rs 1,000 crore over the next six months to augment the existing Covid-19 care medical facilities and to setup new hospitals and care centres.
Presently, some 72,711 beds are available in the state for Covid-19 treatment. Five Covid hospitals and critical care centres are being constructed in the state, which will have an additional 2,380 beds for critical care patients, they said.
The state’s nodal officer for Covid-19, Dr Arja Srikant, said the state is incurring a cost of Rs 6.5 crore each day for medicines, testing kits, and other amenities as well as the maintenance of 138 hospitals and Covid care centres.
Officials said that apart from setting up new health care centres with high-end facilities, oxygen and ICU beds with ventilators, which would be required in large numbers in the coming months, would be increased in existing facilities. Also, over the next 5-6 months, the state government plans to recruit over 1,100 doctors, aide from paramedics, nurses and other healthcare workers, officials said.
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