As the country gears up to roll out the third phase of the inoculation drive, the Andhra Pradesh government has said that the procurement of vaccines “may take few more days”.
In a release, Andhra Pradesh health department principal secretary Anil Kumar Singhal said on Wednesday that the state government is consulting with ‘all three companies’ for getting the vaccines.
“The state government is trying to procure vaccine, to inoculate people above 18 years of age, from the companies. However, it may take few more days to get the vaccine on hand,” said Singhal.
“The Centre has declared eligibility for vaccination to people above 18 from May 1. That doesn’t mean to vaccinate them from that date. We have been consulting with all three companies. Right now they have orders from the central government, the companies will respond to our queries in few days. Then we will be able to chart out a plan to inoculate vaccine to people above 18,” he added.
Further informing about the condition of testing in the state, he said that only RT-PCR tests are being conducted for the last 15 days. Starting Thursday, TrueNat tests will also be conducted, he said.
“A total of 422 hospitals are given permission for conducting Covid tests. 5,572 ICU beds available in the state and more than 3,000 beds are occupied. 18,086 beds are with oxygen facility, of which 10,302 beds are occupied by this morning. We ordered the officials to update the information on a real-time basis so that people will get accurate data in their access,” he said.
He said government hospitals in the state have no problem regarding the availability of Remdesivir injections and the state has a stock of 28,994 doses.
The Principal Secretary asked the private hospitals to not treat Covid-19 patients “illegally” and should register with district authorities so that they can place an indent for Remdesivir.
“Thus, the medicine usage will go properly. Our aim is to prevent hoarding or black marketing of Remdesivir. So district-level officials are given the responsibility to monitor private hospitals. District-level flying squads are formed for this purpose,” said Singhal.
“The state government has fixed rates for the treatment of coronavirus and supply of Remdesivir. Stern action will be taken on those violating the norms,” he added.
The Centre on 19 April had announced a ”liberalised” policy, making all above 18 years of age eligible to get vaccinated from 1 May. It has also allowed state governments and private hospitals to purchase vaccines from manufacturers.
Registration for the new eligible population groups commenced at 4 pm on Wednesday. Potential beneficiaries can either register directly on CoWIN portal (cowin.gov.in) or through the Aarogya Setu app.
With inputs from agencies.