‘No shortage of Remdesivir, beds, oxygen in state’

Principal secy (health) says state performing 70K RT-PCR tests a day, asks people with mild symptoms to get admitted to care centres
A bottle containing the drug Remdesivir is held by a health worker. (Photo | AP)
A bottle containing the drug Remdesivir is held by a health worker. (Photo | AP)

VIJAYAWADA: Appealing to people to cooperate with the government in effectively combating Covid second wave by strictly adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour, principal secretary (health) Anil Kumar Singhal said the state government is making every effort to contain the spread, and facilitating timely hospitalisation and treatment of the patients. 

Briefing mediapersons about the Covid situation in the state, Singhal said testing is being ramped up in view of the increasing cases. “During the peak of the first wave last year, the highest number of tests (RT-PCR, TruNat, RAT) performed in a day was 78,000-80,000. But, in the last one week the state performed 50,000 RT-PCR tests daily on an average, and 70,000 in the last three days. Now, we have also decided to conduct 4,000 TruNat tests from tomorrow,” he said. 

Reiterating that there are more than enough beds available in hospitals and Covid Care Centres (CCCs), Singhal said there was no need to worry,  and requested people to go to CCCs  if they are diagnosed with mild symptoms as the hospitals are treating serious cases. “We have instructed all nodal officers to ensure beds’ availability data are updated on Covid dashboard in real time.” 

As of Wednesday noon, 422 Covid hospitals had 5,572 ICU, 18086 oxygen and 11,618 general beds; 3,002 ICU beds, 10,342 oxygen beds, 3,975 general beds were occupied. The Group of Ministers headed by Health Minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, which met again on Wednesday, directed the officials concerned to check if sufficient data entry operators are available at the hospitals with large number of beds.

Maintaining that there is no shortage of Remdesivir in either government or private hospitals, the official said, as on Wednesday morning, the government hospitals in the state have 28,994 vials of the drug. “As announced, we have started providing Remdesivir to private hospitals; 1,820 doses were supplied on April 26; 6,743 on April 27 and 5,301 till today noon. A total of 13,864 doses have been supplied so far. Moreover, the private hospitals procured the drug on their own, and have nearly 30,000 vials in stock.” 

He added all assistant directors of Drug Control Authority have been directed to keep track of transactions and transhipment of the drug, stocks and utilisation. Action will be initiated if any discrepancy is found, he warned, and added the officials were also asked to check the stock of the drug and actual strength of patients to ensure there is no hoarding or black-marketing. 

With regard to oxygen availability, Singhal said a balance is being maintained between demand and supply as the situation is being monitored on an hourly basis. At present, 420 metric tons of oxygen is being utilised per day (average). “On April 25, 418 metric tons were supplied, 424 metric tons on April 26, and 423 metric tons on April 27.”

The government had already ordered conversion of oxygen meant for industries for medical purposes. In the last four days, four private companies in Guntur, Anantapur, Kadapa and Krishna supplied 20.25 MTs of oxygen, and another 26 MTs will be supplied in another five days. As all supplies are not liquid oxygen and not fit for long distance transportation, they will be used to cater to local demands. At the peak of Covid first wave, the maximum requirement of oxygen was only 260 MTs. 

Singhal emphasised the need for using oxygen only for those requiring it to avoid wastage.  Explaining that sixty CCCs with 33,427 beds have been activated, he advised those with moderate symptoms to get admitted there.

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The New Indian Express