VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed the health department officials to expedite vaccination against Covid and ensure all people in the State are covered at the earliest. Reviewing the Covid-19 situation in the State and progress of vaccination besides preparations made to face the possible third-wave and the new variant Omicron, the Chief Minister asked the officials to set themselves a target of vaccinating two crore people by end of December and focus on the districts that are lagging behind in vaccination.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister was briefed on Omicron, the mutated variant of coronavirus, which has been designated as a variant of concern and is reported to be more virulent. Officials said study on Omicron has been taken up by different countries and 15 per cent of the samples are being sent to CCMB for genome sequencing to find out if there is Omicron or other variants.
They said protocols with regard to Omicron issued by the Centre are being implemented and people coming from 12 countries designated ‘At Risk’ such as South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong are being closely monitored and special focus is on those with Andhra Pradesh as their address. The Chief Minister was informed that shortly a genome sequencing lab will be set up in Vijayawada.
The Chief Minister asked the health department officials to deploy special medical teams at Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore airports and screen the passengers coming to Andhra Pradesh. He wanted them to do RT-PCR tests, not rapid tests, on the passengers.Stating that they are well prepared for facing the possible third wave of Covid-19, officials said the required number of oxygen concentrators and oxygen D-type cylinders have been arranged.
Officials were instructed to strictly enforce Covid Appropriate Behaviour and ensure people wear masks and maintain social distance. “Take it up as a special drive and implement the existing rules pertaining to wearing face masks. At the same time, conduct fever surveys regularly, besides conducting a door-to-door vaccination programme,” he said.
Instructing the officials to inspect oxygen pipelines and check the availability of doctors in the hospitals, the Chief Minister stressed the need to review the facilities in the hospitals that treated Covid cases in the past including availability and supply mechanism of oxygen. He also asked them to review the facilities in the empanelled hospitals, quranite centres, Covid care centres and call centres.
“Treatment should be extended if a call is received on 104 for any health issue. All the collectors and line departments should be prepared,” he said. The officials were advised to conduct a mock drill with regard to oxygen generation (PSA) units in all government hospitals.