Friday, February 23, 2024

AP gears up to face Covid challenge

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Andhra Pradesh has only five active cases of Covid-19 as of Monday but the State is fully prepared to handle any eventuality, Principal Secretary (Health) M T Krishna Babu said.

Of the 5,548 RT-PCR tests conducted in the State since December 21, only five turned positive for coronavirus, Krishna Babu told reporters here.

Another 22,123 rapid tests in the period turned out only one positive case of the virus, he said.

Covid-19 testing centres have been set up in the international airports at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, and Tirupati as per the Centre’s guidelines.

Of the 97 international travellers tested so far, 89 turned negative for the virus while the results of the others were awaited.

“We are taking up mandatory testing of passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore,” he said.

“We have got the genome sequencing done on 48 Covid-19 positive samples in which one was reported to be XBB, a new sub-variant of Omicron. But we are fully geared up to handle the situation effectively,” the Principal Secretary said.

Krishna Babu said more than 50,000 beds, including over 34,700 with oxygen facility, were readily available in the State.

But, the new cases did not require hospitalisation, he pointed out.

The Principal Secretary said 73 per cent of the targeted population in the State was already administered the precautionary (booster) dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“We are waiting for a supply of vaccine from the Centre to complete the precautionary dose to the remaining 27 per cent. Our top priority will be persons aged above 60 years,” he added.

Sufficient manpower, including specialist doctors, and drugs were also available for Covid-19 management.

“We will take up a refresher training programme next week for the staff in Covid management,” Krishna Babu said.

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