Amaravati: A "focused testing" strategy to detect COVID-19 cases early was paying dividends as Andhra Pradesh succeeded in keeping the peak positivity rate below 20 per cent, while "rigorous clinical management" ensured the mortality rate remained below one per cent, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said.
Community-based targeted testing, testing of every primary and secondary contact of positive cases and testing of all high-risk category patients in containment zones have been the governments focus in combating the pandemic, he noted.
Addressing a video conference Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted with Chief Ministers of various states on Tuesday, Jagan said the state's ultimate objective at any point in time was to save lives by providing correct and high quality care and treatment.
"We are not only doing more tests but are doing more focused testing. We are testing in areas and groups where we feel there is a chance of higher positive cases being detected. Our aim at any point in time continues to be to identify cases early on, decrease stigma, provide correct and high quality care and treatment and save lives," the Chief Minister said.
Referring to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, Jagan said, "it has been captured by increased testing."
"In the past few weeks, many of our districts are facing their peak. Through testing, early detection, contact tracing and continuous involvement of more than two lakh volunteers at the ground level, along with rigorous clinical management, we have succeeded in keeping the mortality less than 1.5 per cent in every district in the last two months and below 1 per cent overall in the state through the course of the pandemic," he added.
The Chief Minister said the state used the coronavirus lockdown period to embark on a massive medical infrastructure improvement drive, from village clinics to medical colleges.
"We see the pandemic not just as the biggest challenge of our times but also an opportunity to increase spending and focus on public health, to enhance primary health infrastructure at the grassroots level and tertiary medical infrastructure across our districts," he pointed out.
Jagan remarked that in the spirit of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', all districts and the state as a whole have become self-reliant, more resilient to this pandemic and the medical challenges of the future.
"From zero in March, when the first COVID-19 case was reported in the state, our present lab capacity alone is the highest in the country at 35,000-plustests per day. Number of tests conducted per million (population) is greater than 45,000, and is more than 2.5 times the national average," Jagan said.
The state now has 37,189 beds in 138 hospitals (government and private) for COVID-19 patients, including 4,320 ICU and 17,228 with oxygen supply facilities.
The Chief Minister said apart from filling vacant posts in hospitals, 5,000 additional posts have been created to run the health facilities even after the pandemic ended.
He summed up saying the statemade a concerted effort towards de-stigmatization (of coronavirus) through a communication strategy that also included dissemination of epidemic literacy....