With health experts projecting a third wave of Covid-19 infections, expected to impact children significantly, the Telangana government has started ramping up infrastructure at all paediatric hospitals in the state and is setting up additional facilities at Niloufer hospital for women and children at Hyderabad. The government is also converting all existing beds in government hospitals into oxygen beds.
Of the approximately 25,900 beds available in government-run hospitals across the state, only about 10,300 beds are equipped with oxygen supply at present. The government has decided to equip the remaining 15,600 beds with oxygen facilities in the coming days.
Director of public health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao, said the government has cleared a proposal to set up 132 PSA oxygen generation plants in government hospitals across the state. Infrastructure is also being put in place to create an additional capacity of 200 MT of liquid medical oxygen. In principle approval has also been given for arranging 23 ISO containers for transporting liquid oxygen vial rail, out of which, 10 containers have already been acquired.
At Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad, the bed strength is being doubled from the existing 1,000, and all beds will have an oxygen/ICU facility. The hospital has freed up three floors for new Covid facilities.
Paediatric health infrastructure is also being strengthened by increasing oxygen and ICU beds in all teaching, district, and area hospitals in the state, and nearly 4,000 Oxygen/ICU beds will be available exclusively for paediatric cases.
Training modules and SOPs for healthcare workers at different levels are being prepared keeping paediatric cases in mind. Apart from the five new medical colleges that have come up at Mahabubnagar, Nizamabad, Siddipet, Nalgonda, and Suryapet, in the last one year, another seven new medical colleges will be set up at Sangareddy, Mahabubabad, Mancherial, Wanaparthy, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Jagityal, and Nagarkurnool, taking the total number of medical colleges in the state to 16. The state is also setting up 13 new nursing colleges of 100 seats each.
The state has reported a positivity rate of 2.07 percent between May 29 and June 7. The overall rate has declined to to 4.7 per cent from 8.7 per cent at the beginning of May.
As of June 13, the state vaccinated 79,79,636 persons had received Covid-19 vaccine shots—64,69,106 received the first dose while 15,10,530 received both doses.
Since the pandemic started, Telangana has sanctioned the recruitment of 6,154 personnel including 1,995 doctors, of whom, 300 are specialists; 3153 nursing staff; 48 epidemiologists; and 45 scientists.