Andhra Pradesh to adopt three-pronged strategy to check COVID spread

The Andhra Pradesh government has announced it is adopting a three-pronged strategy to check the spread of coronavirus across the state.

During the review meeting held on the prevailing COVID situation chaired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at his camp office on Monday, the state government has issued orders to adopt a three-pronged strategy to ensure better treatment, oxygen, quality food, medicine, water and sanitation facilities in COVID hospitals, allotment of beds to COVID patients and to check the services of 104 call centre.

The three-pronged strategy, which will work from district to state level, will ensure no private hospital charges more than the prescribed price and also monitor the medical services in the hospitals.

The district collectors will divide all the hospitals treating COVID patients into clusters and there will be five to eight hospitals in each cluster.

The district collector will appoint a district-level officer in charge of each cluster. The officer, who visits the hospitals frequently, will monitor the hospitals and ensure no private hospital will charge more than the prescribed fees. 

Wherever any complaint is received, the officer will respond quickly and take necessary action. In the same way, the officer will look into the hospitals that treat COVID patients without permission within the cluster.

The district collector will set up a flying squad at the district level to check on private hospitals from overcharging. Among them will be an officer from the Drug Control Division, one from the Vigilance Enforcement Division and another from the Medical and Health Department.

The squad will ensure private hospitals won’t charge more money. The squad will assist in making the cluster in-charges work more efficiently.

Accordingly, the state government has issued orders to create hospital clusters and set up flying squad.

A special task force committee with senior officers at the state level has also been set up to review the performance of clusters and flying squads in the districts from time to time.

The state government has given the responsibilities of all activities of COVID to a Joint Collector in the district, transferring their existing duties to others. The Joint Collector has to ensure good sanitation facilities, quality food supply, availability of doctors and paramedical staff, setting up of help desks etc.

They should also monitor the performance of Arogya Mitras through CCTV cameras. They should coordinate with call centre and ensure all works are done on time. Along with these, the JCs are also responsible for data updating and management of hospitals.

The Chief Minister also directed to increase the number of COVID tests and ensure the results come within 24 hours of testing. He stressed the need on focused testing, creating awareness on COVID, CCTV cameras in hospitals, setting up of health desks etc.

Orders were also issued to cap CT scan fee at Rs 3,000 and RT-PCR test at Rs 499 and to set up oxygen production plants and ensure continuous supply of electricity to hospitals.

Notification will be released for recruiting 1,170 specialist doctors, 1,170 general duty medical officers, 2,000 staff nurses, 306 anesthesia technicians, 330 FNOs, 300 MNOs as 300 sweepers soon.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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