The Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday appealed to the Centre to take measures for strengthening of medical infrastructure to tackle pandemics like Covid-19 and provide cost-effective treatment to the people.
Expressing his views during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with various chief ministers, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the Covid-19 experience had taught the country a lesson about the urgent need to step up the medical facilities for a better future with a visionary approach.
“Strategic planning should be done to create comprehensive medical facilities in the country with a joint strategy by both the state and central governments. A comprehensive study has to be made in consultation with institutions like Indian Medical Association on what an ideal doctor-people ratio was and how many medical colleges the country required,” Rao said.
Stating that the country had never experienced any Corona-like situation in the past, the Telangana chief minister said there was uncertainty as to how long this pandemic would last. “While dealing with the present situation, we should focus on how we are going to deal with such a situation in the future. There is every possibility that a Corona like virus may come up again in future. Hence, we have to take measures now to face any eventuality in the future,” he said.
Explaining the measures taken by the state government, the chief minister said, “We have taken all the measures to contain Coronavirus. The recovery rate in the State is 71% while the death rate is 0.7%. We have increased the number of tests many folds. We have kept ready an adequate number of beds, medicines, staff and other equipment,” KCR said.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, too, urged the Centre to extend cooperation to the states to enhance the medical infrastructure to treat epidemics like Covid-19.
“Andhra Pradesh is a newly formed state. We don’t have tier-1 cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and so, there is no largescale medical infrastructure like in our neighbouring states. That is why we need massive assistance from the Centre to improve our medical facilities to a considerable extent,” Jagan said.
He reminded that Andhra Pradesh had begun with zero virology testing facility for Covid-19 in March and had now established testing labs in all the 13 districts. “There are 37,189 beds, including 11,000 oxygen-equipped, available in 138 public and private hospitals to treat the Covid-19 persons. Apart from these, there are 109 Covid care centres with a capacity to accommodate 56,000 people,” he said.
Jagan claimed that Andhra Pradesh had been conducting 47,459 Covid-19 tears for every 10 lakhs population. The death rate in the state was only 0.89. More than 25 lakh tests were conducted in the 140 days since the first Coronavirus case was reported in the state on March 22. The state is reporting between 9,000 and 10,000 positive cases every day because of the large number of tests conducted, he said.