Hyderabad: Telangana state has urged the Centre to import Covid-19 vaccines from countries that have them in surplus. This, IT minister K. T. Rama Rao said, will help states vaccinate their people.
“Universal Covid-19 vaccination is the only permanent solution for dealing with the present crisis,” said the minister while inaugurating a 150-bed intensive care unit (ICU) for Covid-19 patients at the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) in Gachibowli here.
Rama Rao pointed out that 50 crore vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca are lying unutilised in countries like Norway, Denmark, Canada and the USA. "What is preventing the centre from opening dialogue with these countries and procuring the vaccines. This will allow for vaccination of half of the Indian population," he stated.
The minister regretted that the Central government has depended only on two companies – Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India — for supply of vaccines, though it would not be possible for them to meet the huge demand of the country.
"Central government policy on procurement and administration of vaccines is faulty. Exporting vaccines to other countries when we have a large population was a wrong decision. We now need vaccines but there are no sufficient stocks. Opening up vaccination process for 18-44 years group without sufficient stocks has further complicated issues at the ground level," he underlined.
Rama Rao was critical of the manner in which the Centre was going about procuring and distribution Coronavirus vaccines, making the states answerable to their people. There is a hue and cry for vaccines and long queues at public health centres. But the private sector has been slow in meeting the challenge due to lack of a robust vaccination process, he said.
The minister underlined that with cases of Coronavirus reducing in the state, state government is upgrading its health infrastructure to ensure that there is availability of oxygen, ventilators and other medical devices at government hospitals.
Incidentally, the Telangana state government and Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) member companies are coordinating in providing ventilators, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, beds, masks, flow meters and other equipment to TIMS, Kondapur District Hospital, Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, Niloufer Hospital, Gandhi Hospital, King Koti and Fever Hospital.
Rama Rao, along with principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan, Cyberabad police commissioner V. C. Sajjanar, Ranga Reddy district collector Amoy Kumar, and health and medical education director Dr K. Ramesh Reddy went around the TIMS hospital and met patients. The minister spoke to patients and inquired from them about the treatment being given to them....