Telangana to administer free COVID-19 vaccine to all: CM

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Hyderabad, Apr 24 (PTI): The Telangana government will administer COVID-19 vaccine free of cost to the entire population in the state irrespective of their age, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced on Saturday.

Rao said it would cost more than Rs 2,500 crore to vaccinate everyone, and taking into consideration the importance of lives of people, this amount is worth spending.

The CM issued instructions to the Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and officers of the Medical and Health department in this regard, an official release said.

Telangana's population, including those who came from different states and working in different sectors, is about 4 crore and among them 35 lakh have already been vaccinated.

The rest of the people would be vaccinated free of cost, Rao said.

Rao said Bharat Biotech is already producing COVID-19 vaccine and in addition to it, several institutions, including Dr Reddy's Laboratories, are coming forward to produce vaccine and hence there will be no dearth (ofCOVID- 19vaccines) for vaccination.

Rao, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, said in a couple of days after undergoing necessary medical tests and after completely recovering, he would hold a high-level review meeting with officials concerned and personally monitor the vaccination programme.

In addition to the vaccination drive, Rao said necessary steps would be taken to see that there is no shortage of medical oxygen and Remdesivir as well as other medicines required for COVID-19 treatment.

He said the government would go all out to protect people from coronavirus and there is no need to panic.

A sanitation programme will also be taken up on a large-scale and the government will take all necessary care for hospital beds and medicines.However, people should not be careless in their day-to-day life, Rao said.

The Chief Minister appealed to people not to hold mass gatherings and participate in processions and venture out only if absolutely necessary.

He said the welfare of people is very important to the government and it will do all that can be done to protect them from coronavirus, the release added.PTI VVK BN BALA BN BALA