Amaravati: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday announced that the State government shall provide free COVID-19 vaccine for people in the age group of 18-45 years.

Chairing a review meeting, the Chief Minister directed the officials to place orders for vaccines accordingly. Around 2,04,70,364 people between 18 and 45 years are to be vaccinated across the state.

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the government had decided to impose night curfew starting from Saturday between 10 pm and 5 am across the State.

Jagan advised the officials to decentralize `rythu bazaars' and make them available at ward level.

He instructed the authorities to ramp up the testing. He told the officials to focus on the supply of oxygen and Remedisiver, and ensuring they don't reach the black market. He said that complaints have been received about hospitals overcharging patients for Covid treatment and instructed to take strict action against such practices.

The Chief Minister directed the authorities to fully operationalize 104 call centers and respond to every call. He directed to post one Joint Collector to monitor the calls at 104 call centers.

He told the officials to conduct Class X, Inter, Degree, Engineering examinations as per the schedule under strict health protocols.

The officials informed the Chief Minister that the supply of oxygen is being delayed due to transportation problem. They said only 64 vehicles were allotted for the supply of oxygen, while 100 to 120 vehicles were needed to meet the current demand.

The officials said 515 metric tonnes of oxygen is required if all the oxygen beds are occupied in the state. Around 284 metric tonnes of oxygen on average is being used in government and private hospitals at present.

In this regard, the officials said they have requested the Central Government to supply 100 metric tonnes of oxygen manufactured in RINL, Vizag to the state. The official said they have also requested for supplying oxygen from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

A total of 21,581 beds are in 208 COVID hospitals, of which 11,789 beds are occupied and 2,506 people have been admitted in the last 24 hours, the officials said.

Earlier, the Chief Minister spoke to Barath Biotech MD Krishna Ella and Hetero Drugs MD B. Parthasarathi Reddy over the phone and urged them to supply COVID vaccine doses and Remedsiver injections as per the requirement of the state

Deputy Chief Minister Alla Krishna Srinivas, Ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, Kurasala Kannababu, Mekathoti Sucharitha, DGP Goutam Sawang, COVID Command Control Special Officer Special Chief Secretary KS Jawahar Reddy, Health Principal Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal, Higher Education Special Chief Secretary Satish Chandra, Transportation Principal Secretary MT Krishna Babu, School Education Principal Secretary Buditi Rajashekar, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar and other officials were present in the meeting.

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