Vijayawada: Minister for Health Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Nani) said the government has appointed three senior officials to oversee the supply of oxygen from neighboring states.
A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Minister Alla Nani held a press conference here on Wednesday and briefed about COVID-19 preventive measures are taken by the state government.
Nani said the committee had discussed key issues like oxygen supply, testing, vaccination, beds, and steps to be taken to bring down the cases. He said that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had given clear instructions to all the district collectors to verify the oxygen pipelines and complete the repair works on war footing to avoid incidents like RUIA hospital in future.
He said 49 mini oxygen plants are being set up in various teaching hospitals, District, and Area hospitals across the state.
He said the need for oxygen in the second wave was high. He said the number of patients requiring oxygen has almost doubled.
Nani said three senior IAS officers were deployed to monitor the oxygen supply from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha. "During the first wave, the state hardly used 240 MT of oxygen on a daily basis, where only 50 percent of designated oxygen beds were occupied. However, in the current scenario, the daily requirement is over 590 MT, which was allocated by the Centre and yet facing a shortage. Although the state is equipped with 27500 oxygen beds, still running with shortage and thus setting up another 10,000 beds across the state," he said.
The Minister said they have written to Prime Minister for supplying 910 metric tonnes of oxygen. He said all measures are being taken to ensure that oxygen is not wasted. He said the storage capacity is being increased to 600 MT from the existing 517 MT.
On vaccinations, he said the government has been trying to complete the immunization programme faster. "Chief Minister has also written to Centre requesting six crore doses. The government has the capacity to administer over six lakh doses in a single day and was ready to spend Rs 1600 crore for getting vaccines," he said.
Nani also slammed opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu for making irresponsible remarks and creating panic among the public. He made it clear that they had no objection to purchasing vaccines from the manufacturers, but the control is still with the Centre.
He said Naidu should facilitate vaccine supply by using his kinship with Bharat Biotech. "Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had already made it clear that he wanted the vaccination process to be free and would not hesitate to spend Rs 1,600 crore," he said.