VIJAYAWADA: Though the spread of Covid-19 over the last few days seems to be more rampant in rural areas, analysis of the trend, taking into account the number of cases per lakh population in urban and rural areas, gives a different picture, said principal secretary (health) Anil Kumar Singhal.
Briefing media persons on Thursday, he said 1,42,707 cases were reported in the state between May 16 and 22, out of which 86,649 cases were in rural areas. In other words, 61 per cent of the cases emerged in the rural areas.
“If the data is projected as it is, without analysing, it would be misleading and create unnecessary panic among people in the rural parts. While analysing the extent of the spread and increase in the cases, we should also factor in the population.” “As per the 2011 census, 1.46 crore population of the state lives in urban areas, while 3.49 crore people live in rural AP. In other words, 29.46 per cent of the people are urban residents. If the number of cases per lakh population is considered, the figures stand at 383 in urban areas, and 248 in rural areas,” he explained.
Singhal brushed aside the reports suggesting the spike in Covid infections in the rural parts was because of exemptions to certain curfew rules, and lack of control over implementation of the curfew. Regarding reports of private hospitals overcharging Covid patients, he said severe penalties were imposed on many institutions for the violations.
On Black Fungus cases, Singhal said 579 cases were reported in the state till Thursday. “We have received another 1,800 vials of Amphotericin B injection for treating Black Fungus, and the same has been sent to the districts. We had already sent 3,000 vials of the drug. Further, 240 vials of Posaconazole injection and 8,340 Posaconazole tablets were received from the Centre and the same were ot the districts. These two are also used in the treatment of Black Fungus,” he said.
Singhal said discharges have improved in hospitals and Covid Care Centres than admissions. As on Thursday, a total of 812 ICU beds out of 6,226 were vacant.The principal secretary said availability of oxygen stocks in the state have improved. “In view of the cyclone, the state had requested for ad hoc allocations of oxygen. Un the last one week, the amount of oxygen drawn to the state was more than the allocated 590 metric tonnes. As storage capacity at hospitals and refilling points was improved, the state is able to maintain buffer stock.”Singhal said vaccination drive for the first-time recipients will continue. On Wednesday and Thursday, 5 lakh people were vaccinated.