Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, on 8 September, instructed officials to ensure that all government hospitals, from primary health centres (PHCs) to district hospitals, are equipped to conduct COVID-19 tests. The focus should be on conducting more tests, he said.

During a video conference with district collectors and SPs here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said efforts should be made to create awareness among the public over COVID tests which should be made available in all government hospitals.

Reiterating that we have to live with COVID-19, he instructed authorities to be vigilant and take timely action. He directed the officials to make the best use of 104 call centre to create awareness and also ordered the district collectors to monitor the calls handled by the helpline and also conduct mock calls.

Truenat and RTPCR tests should be done within 24 hours of sample collection and in rapid tests, the results should be given within 30 minutes of sample collection, the Chief Minister said while also directing officials to strictly place the primary and secondary contacts of the positive cases under home quarantine.

Jagan instructed officials to provide a medical kit with all the required medicines to those under home isolation and told the joint collectors to monitor the supply of the kits. He told the officials to expedite the recruitment for various medical vacancies exclusively for COVID duty. So far, the state government has decided to recruit 17,000 additional medical staff to treat COVID-19 patients. Besides these, the government will also recruit 11,000 trainee nurses.

Meanwhile, the officials told Jagan that 16 new teaching hospitals will be established and the tender process will start from next month. So far, there are 11 teaching hospitals across the state. The officials were also asked to accelerate the process of identifying land for urban health clinics in the state.

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