VIJAYAWADA: Though Andhra Pradesh is not among the States for which an alert has been issued by the Centre about possible second wave of Covid-19, the Medical and Health Department is fully geared up to face any adverse situation. The State, in the past few days, had witnessed a drastic fall in the daily count of Covid cases. The daily count of cases is hovering between 40 and 50 depending on the number of samples tested in the State.
“The State is ready to face the possible second wave of coronavirus outbreak. As the earlier strategies to combat Covid have worked well for the State, we will implement the same, unless any special guidelines are issued by the Centre,” Principal Secretary (Covid Management and Vaccination) M Ravi Chandra told TNIE.
He pointed out that there has been no major spike in Covid cases despite resumption of all activities, including the conduct of panchayat elections across the State. Asked about the possibility of imposing lockdown and other restrictions in the State, he said it is too early and unnecessary to take any such decision.
“Andhra Pradesh does not figure in the list of five States which have received a warning from the Centre with respect to the second wave of Covid. Also, we are conducting enough number of tests. Though the number of tests has come down, we are conducting only RT-PCR tests, which are more accurate to detect Covid cases,” he explained.
AP is one among the bigger States, which conducted more than 60,000 tests per day during the peak time of Covid. Now, the number of tests per day has come down to 20,000.
‘3T strategy of AP proved effective to combat Covid’
With more than 2.57 lakh tests per million population, AP stands third in sample testing in the country.
Ravi Chandra said the 3T strategy — Tracing, Testing and Treating — has proven effective in combating the pandemic. It will be implemented in case of a second Covid wave. “We can implement this very strategy in a much better way now as we have advanced technically,” he added.
With respect to medical infrastructure, he said the State is well equipped to handle any sudden increase in number of corona cases with over 37,000 beds to treat patients. “Currently, we are using around 100 beds. This means that nearly all the beds are vacant and ready for immediate use. The supply of oxygen is also enough even if we consider that the second wave due to the new variants of the virus, is more aggressive in nature,” said Ravi Chandra.
Further, he stated that the Covid vaccination is going on in full swing in the State, which in turn will help contain any further spread. “Over 10 lakh people have enrolled for vaccination. We are doing our best to vaccinate the maximum number of people at the earliest. As per our knowledge, we may get approval to start vaccination for the people aged above 50 from March,” he added.