In the face of rising Covid-19 cases
that have overwhelmed Telangana's health infrastructure, the TRS government has been facing much criticism
over the alleged shortage of both vaccines and beds
in the state's hospitals.
However, Health Minister Etala Rajender today made clear the fact there was no shortage of beds for the treatment of critical Covid-19 patients, and claimed that a total of 60,000 beds were available at hospitals across the state.
Speaking to the media at BRKR Bhavan, the minister pointed out that though the ongoing second wave had significantly pushed up the state's case tally, only 5% of the affected people were exhibiting symptoms.
Talking about the vaccine shortage plaguing the state, he said that they had taken up the issue with Union Health Minister Dr Harshavardhan, and added, "While the vaccination drive has had to be stopped due to the shortage of the vaccine, state government officials are in touch with their counterparts at the Centre to resolve the issue at the earliest. We are expecting to receive 2.7 lakh doses by tonight. Our immunisation centres have been functioning efficiently up till now - the centres have the capacity to immunise 10 lakh people daily. We will resume the immunisation drive soon and will vaccinate all those above 45 years of age and as well as the frontline warriors of Telangana. Our officials are also working on devising a plan to maintain adequate vaccine stocks at all the PHCs of the state. The sudden shortage of Remdisivir injections is a result of a drop in production which followed the relative drop in the intensity of the pandemic, but like I said we are already taking steps to procure more vaccines."
Addressing the availability of oxygen cylinders in Telangana, Rajender said, "We are holding discussions with the Centre to ensure that there is no shortage of oxygen in our state. Currently, the state requires 200 tonnes of oxygen every day. However, if the number of cases continues to rise, this requirement will go up to 350 tonnes. We are not facing any oxygen supply crunches right now, but keeping in mind the seriousness of the pandemic, we are trying to keep an adequate supply ready for use. The supply of the same is a matter controlled by the Centre, however."
The minister then urged the Union Health Ministry to include individuals above 25 years as eligible for Covid-19 vaccines.
The explanation comes shortly after Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivas Rao recently pointed out that without some drastic measures to arrest the further spread of the disease, the state would soon become the next Maharashtra. The senior official had also said that if the rise in cases continued, there was likely to be a shortage of hospital beds
in the state.