Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government is focusing on reducing the COVID-19 mortality rate, the special chief secretary of state medical and health department, K.S Jawahar Reddy, said on 1 September.

“The mortality rate in AP is under control and a few districts have registered fewer deaths than earlier. While Nellore, Chittoor, and Prakasam districts saw an increase in the number of deaths, Anantapur, Guntur, Krishna, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam saw a decline in COVID-19 fatalities,” said Mr. Reddy.

The state also saw a 6.26 per cent increase in the number of positive cases as it registered 8,139 new cases. While districts like Anantapur, Guntur, Krishna, Kurnool, and Vizianagaram witnessed a steady decline in the number of cases, Nellore, Prakasam, and Srikakulam reported an increase.

The sero-surveillance which was conducted in four districts – Anantapur, East Godavari, Krishna, and Nellore – to test the presence of IgG antibodies, found that the novel coronavirus was prevalent in 16.7 per cent of the population of Anantapur, 14.4 per cent of the population of East Godavari, 21.7 per cent population of Krishna, and 8.2 per cent people of Nellore. It also reported that it was most prevalent in urban areas and equally in non-containment zones. Anantapur saw a 28.8 per cent prevalence in urban areas, while it was 19.5 per cent in East Godavari, 35.2 per cent in Krishna, and 13.8 per cent in Nellore.

Mr. Reddy further said that the sero-surveillance programme is also being conducted in the remaining nine districts. He said that the average doubling rate is currently 30 days, while the reproductive rate between 23 and 29 August was 1.09 per cent. In a span of one week, over 72,000 cases have been registered, of which 56 per cent is in rural and 44 per cent in urban areas, he said, adding that 96 per cent of the cases were seen in containment zones and only four per cent were from non-containment zones.

He requested the public to stay alert, especially if they have symptoms like high fever, breathlessness, and if oxygen saturation drops below 94. He appealed to the public to contact 104 helpline or local ANM or volunteers in case they wanted to get admitted to a hospital or undergo home isolation. He said the state government had established control rooms at the village and district-level for the convenience of the patients and also started telemedicine service through 14410 call centre.

He asserted that the public should take up responsibility in containing the virus and stressed on using masks, maintaining physical distance, and washing hands at frequent intervals. He said that the state government is taking up an awareness campaign on the use of masks in partnership with UNICEF in order to contain the spread of the virus.

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