CHITTOOR AND East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh have become the worst Covid-19 affected districts even as Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy called for focussed testing and hastened vaccination.
The CM called on health workers, district collectors, police and village and ward secretariat staff to work with the same spirit as last year as Covid-19 cases have started rising again.
Chittoor with 1,00,254 cases and 918 deaths and East Godavari with 1,29,312 cases and 638 deaths are the worst affected, according to officials.
Deputy Chief Minister Alla Krishna Srinivas (Health) said Andhra Pradesh has conducted 1.55 crore tests since last year and 9.37 lakh samples have been tested positive. The positivity rate in the state is 6.03 per cent while the recovery rate is 96.19 per cent. The national average recovery rate is 88.9 per cent. While the death rate in the state is 0.78 per cent, it is 1.24 per cent at the national level.
The second wave has seen the number of cases rise very quickly and from December to April, the positivity rate was 7.77 per cent. While the rate of infection and positivity is higher in Chittoor followed by Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Guntur and Nellore districts.
The CM told officials that the government is trying to get more vaccine doses to the state to resume the vaccination drive.
Ruling out the possibility of imposing another lockdown, the CM said that last year’s lockdown had worsened the financial situation and people suffered a lot and Covid should be controlled without imposing lockdown this time.
The health minister said that the focus is back on focused testing: testing the primary contacts of those who have tested positive for Covid. Test results have revealed that positive cases were 62 per cent in the urban areas and 38 per cent in the rural areas.
However, the mortality rate is higher in rural areas. Deaths are higher in rural areas as they are going to the hospitals too late, officials said. District collectors have been asked to restart surveys by Asha health workers and Covid-19 volunteers to identify people with symptoms.
Officials said that 108 hospitals in the state were empanelled for Covid treatment and out of 15,669 beds in those hospitals, 4,889 are occupied as of April 18.
The government has directed health and district officials to increase the availability of beds in the hospitals.
About 13,500 beds are available in Covid care centres and the government is making efforts to increase the number of beds to 50,000. It has also decided to take stringent action against private hospitals, which charge more money for Covid treatment.