7 out of 1,200 people who returned from UK test COVID-19 positive in Telangana

ANI
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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], December 25 (ANI): Seven people out of 1,200 who came from the UK to Telangana since December 9 have tested positive for COVID-19.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender held a review meeting with senior officials of the department on the steps being taken in the state in the wake of global concerns with the new virus strain. Officials informed the minister that 1,200 air passengers had returned to Telangana from UK and via UK from December 9 till date, and out of them Covid-19 tests were done on 846 persons with seven testing positive for the virus.

Officials informed the minister that positive samples were sent to CCMB lab to check for the type of virus strain in them. All flyers from UK are being monitored and efforts are on to trace the contacts that got in touch with the virus-infected passengers. Those who tested negative are also being monitored closely, officials told the minister.

Eatala appealed to the people of the State to be alert in the wake of medical experts' statements that this new virus stain from UK is likely to spread rapidly. He suggested that the upcoming Christmas, New Year and Sankranthi celebrations be confined to home in view of prevailing situation.

He urged the people to follow all the precautions prescribed by the government to prevent the spread of the virus namely wearing of mask, physical distancing and regular washing of hands.

The Minister said that since the vaccine is the only way to completely eradicate the fear about the virus, full arrangements are being made to provide vaccine to the people as soon as it is available and stocks reach the State. Arrangements for storage of the vaccine, transportation and distribution were discussed by the minister with the authorities.

Eatala said 10,000 vaccinators were given training to administer the vaccine. He said that if each of them could give vaccine jab to one hundred people per day, nearly one million people could be vaccinated per day. The minister said that plans were afoot to vaccinate 70 to 80 lakh people in the first phase. Health, police, municipal and fire personnel as well as the elderly will be vaccinated in the first phase. Eatala said software is also ready to administer second dose 28 days after administering the first dose.

Ealala told officials to provide facilities like drinking water, tents and chairs in centres earmarked for giving vaccine. The minister directed the authorities to look into the cold chain arrangements for the supply of the vaccine, the mapping of vaccine recipients, the training of the staff and the facilities required at the vaccine centres.

The minister said the public health system needs to be fully strengthened to withstand epidemics like the Corona. He said government hospitals are being strengthened as per CM K Chandrashekar Rao's directions. The minister has directed authorities to purchase 11 CT SCAN and 3 MRI machines immediately. He wanted them to be made available at the earliest. Further, the minister desired that quality medical equipment is procured at lower rates.

All operation theaters in government hospitals were ordered to be upgraded with modern technology and state of the art equipment. It was suggested that these be ready in another six months. Officials estimated that this will require Rs 30 crore budget.

Following the success of Basti Dawakhanas, eight diagnostic mini-hubs have been readied for the medical examinations of the patients visiting these facilities. X-Ray, ultrasound, ECG tests will be done in Basti Dawakhanas along with blood tests. The minister said these diagnostic hubs were set for launch from the end of this month.

The Minister also ordered for an increase in the number of dialysis centres and machines. He suggested officials to take steps so that dialysis patients are not made to travel long distances.

Among those who attended the review meeting were Health Secretary S A M Rizvi, Family Welfare Commissioner Vakati Karuna, Director, Medical Education Dr Ramesh Reddy, Director of Public Health Dr Srinivasa Rao, TSMIDC MD Chandrasekhar Reddy and Covid-19 technical committee members Dr Gangadhar. (ANI)