(Eds: Recasts para 7) Hyderabad, Aug 23 (PTI) Telangana needs to ramp up COVID-19 testing though the recovery rate in the state has improved, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, 'Recovery rate is good in Telangana also. But, I feel the number of tests need to increase.' Noting that Telangana was at seventh place from the bottom, among all states, in testing, Reddy wished the state to move up in the list as it was 'rich and developed.' Reddy, who was speaking after inaugurating the Rotary Blood Plasma Bank here, said he spoke to state Health Minister Eatala Rajender on the matter and that the state government was also making efforts to step up testing.
The Centre has provided about 14 lakh N-95 masks, about 2,40,000 PPE kits and 1,400 ventilators, among others, to Telangana, the Minister of State for Home said adding it was even ready to provide more ventilators to Telangana.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who held a video conference with Chief Ministers of various states recently, has stressed on not compromising on testing, he pointed out.
Referring to Modi's reported statement that testing needs to be enhanced in five states, Reddy said Telanagana was among them.
The Union Minister claimed that though the population of India was more than 11 developed countries, it was doing well in terms of positive cases and deaths.
While the number of positive cases per one million population in the US was 17,498, it was 2,156 in India.
He also stated that the number of deaths per million population in America was 541, while in India it was 40.
Sixty per cent of those who died had comorbidities, while 40 per cent succumbed to coronavirus.
To a query on the reported remarks of Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on COVID-19 in the state, he said the she has not made any criticism against the state government.
Soundararajan, who is the Constitutional head of the state, is a medical doctor, and she has made suggestions out of her experience, he said.
Observing that even common people can make suggestions, he said it was also her responsibility as the Governor of the state.
Contending that it was not a political issue, he said it was about a pandemic and even common people have the right to make suggestions.
Neither the Centre nor the BJP have anything to do with the remarks of the Governor, he clarified.
Reddy disapproved of the exorbitant charges allegedly being collected by some private hospitals in the city for COVID-19 treatment.
As on August 22, the number of positive cases in Telangana was 1,04,249 and the recovery rate in the state was 77.30 which is 74.69 per cent at the national level.
The total number of tests conducted in the state cumulatively was 9,31,839. PTI SJR ROH ROH