Hyderabad: Following delays in the COVID-19 vaccination process, the Andhra Pradesh government on 13 May announced that it was floating global tenders for vaccine procurement and asked various companies to respond within three weeks.

So far, the state has received 75.49 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Centre, including 62,60,400 doses of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and 12,89,560 doses of Covishield by the Serum Institute. Around 32,87,607 people have received the first dose and close to 20,41,377 people have received the second dose. Of those who have received the first doses, around 26,69,250 people received Covishield and 6,18,36 Covaxin. Of those who received the second dose, 17,35,536 people were administered Covishield and 3,05,841 Covaxin.

Meanwhile, to further avoid oxygen shortages in the state, Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday instructed officials to come up with a plan to set up oxygen plant with 300 tonnes of oxygen production capacity to cater to the needs of patients in the state. "With the current medical oxygen consumption exceeding 600 tonnes per day, a long-term plan is needed for the future. The focus should be on bringing the medical oxygen plant in Krishnapattanam or Kadapa on a war footing," the CM said.

The officials informed Jagan that the number of vehicles delivering liquid medical oxygen has been increased from 56 to 78. Plans are on to set up another 14 vehicles to refill and deliver the tanker as soon as it arrives, they said, adding that they have done some repair works to existing tankers and set up 44 KL of storage.

Further, the officials said 36 vehicles are being used to transport 210 metric tonnes of oxygen per day from various places in Odisha. Of these, four are being airlifted daily from Vijayawada to Bhubaneswar by an Air Force aircraft. The state will also receive two ISO oxygen tankers which will be transported from Durgapur. They added that another 25 tankers are due to be received by June.

Jagan had directed that all measures should be taken to ensure that oxygen supply goes to hospitals with proper pressure in line in all the oxygen beds. With the support now coming in from the Navy, the CM wanted to see that oxygen supply could flow to everyone without lowering the pressure. The CM also asked to provide the necessary equipment needed for it. However, the officials said they were inspecting the pipelines at the hospital and making necessary changes with the Navy's cooperation to improve the pipeline system.

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