Giving a clarification on the Telangana High Court’s observations that the state government is not conducting a sufficient number of COVID-19 tests, the health director said: “if adequate tests are not being conducted then how is the number of COVID-19 positive cases dropping each day.”
“Why is that the Telangana state’s positivity rate has come down, why is that the number of hospital admission has come down, and how is the state recording more number of discharges?” he asked. He said that Telangana has been very proactive and has been behaving in a very strategic manner in regards to controlling the COVID-19 situation.
“Now, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is advising to conduct more Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) while in Telangana we have been focusing more on RAT for many months now as we know the importance of getting early result in a pandemic situation,” the health director added. He further said that the state government has initiated a house to house survey nearly about two weeks back which the Central government has recently mentioned in their new COVID-19 guidelines.
“Till date from commencement of vaccination drive across the country from January 16, Telangana had received nearly about 57,30,220 doses of vaccine from the government of India including both Covaxin and Covishield. Today, we are left with 1,86,780 doses including both Covaxin and Covishield. While 50,000 doses are of Covaxin, the rest are for Covishield,” Rao said. He also mentioned that the vaccination drive in the state had been halted due to inadequate stock of Covaxin and extension of the time period between two doses of Covishield vaccine.
“The vaccination drive is stopped for time being for two reasons, the time gap has been increased by the Central Government for administering the second dose of Covishield vaccine from 6 weeks to 12 weeks and accordingly there are no eligible persons for taking the second jab,” Rao said, adding that the state is only left with 50,000 doses of Covaxin while, the beneficiaries are around 3,50,000 people, till the end of May. “So we are waiting to receive more vaccine doses from the Centre and as and when the state receives the doses from the central government, the vaccination drive will immediately be resumed, ” he added.
On the vaccination drive for the age group of 18 years to 44 years, he said that though the state had received 4.9 lakh vaccine doses of both Covishield and Covaxin, it has about 1.9 crore beneficiaries in this age group.
“The state cannot go ahead with this much number of vaccines. The available stock can run out in about a few days and then we have to wait of weeks or even months to make the next procurement, which is not ideal,” he said. He further said that the Telangana Government is planning to go for a global tender to procure vaccines and added that the state task force committee lead by the KT Rama Rao is now coordinating with the companies to get more vaccines.
Telangana reported 3,982 new COVID-19 cases, 5,186 recoveries, and 27 deaths in the last 24 hours, said the state health department on Tuesday. With the addition of fresh infections, the total tally of COVID-19 positive cases in the state currently stands at 5,36,766 including 4,85,644 recoveries and 3,012 deaths. The number of active cases in the state currently stands at 48,110. (ANI)