HYDERABAD: The Central government is taking all possible steps to ensure oxygen availability at hospitals across the country, Union minister of state for home G. Kishan Reddy said here on Sunday. At the same time, he said, the Telangana state government should give out correct figures on the daily Covid-19 deaths and cases.
Speaking to the media after a visit to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (Tims) — the 1,000-bed Covid19-only hospital at Gachibowli — the Union minister said that the Centre has provided 200 ventilators exclusively to TIMS. “There is no problem with ventilators in TIMS,” he said.
Kishan Reddy had been advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit government hospitals in Telangana state and check the Covid-related situations there.
The minister said about 600 Covid-19 patients are being treated at Tims and 100 patients are in ICU while 50 people are in general wards. NRB equipment for oxygen is also available, but there is a shortage of masks, he said and noted that states have an emergency fund to rely on during natural disasters.
The minister of state said Tims has 700 vials of remdesivir and the Centre has given fresh permission to several companies to produce oxygen. Oxygen is also being imported from Singapore and Germany.
“Telangana state should keep revealing the actual number of Covid19 cases and deaths in the state. If the true picture is given, people will be aware of the seriousness of the situation and take more care,” he said.
The minister said the second wave is far more serious and deadly than the first. The state government should not hold back information relating to the pandemic. “I urge the state to mend its ways and start speaking the truth.”
Notably, the Telangana High Court here had pulled up the state government on its “fudged” Covid19 data and many doctors across hospitals stated in confidence that the numbers of Coronavirus cases and deaths are far higher than what were being released by the government through its daily bulletins.
“Without wasting time criticising the central government, states should focus on preventive steps. Some people are seen roaming freely without wearing masks even after they tested positive for Coronavirus. The state government should take strict action.”
The minister warned that strict action would be taken if the remdesivir vials are sold at prices higher than what was fixed by the government. He also reviewed the progress on the upcoming oxygen plant at Tims sanctioned by the Central government that will generate 1,000 litre of oxygen per minute.
The minister later visited the ESI Hospital at Sanathnagar. He said one lakh tests were done so far in ESI hospitals for Covid-19. ESI hospitals underwent upgradation in terms of technology and facilities. “There are 100 beds, 470 general beds, 300 Covid beds and 150 super specialty beds available for all types of services here,” he said.
Kishen Reddy held a video conference with DRDO chairman Dr G. Satheesh Reddy and others on steps to augment oxygen supplies.