Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Tuesday, chaired a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the state. During the meeting, it was decided that an amount of Rs. 15,000 will be given by the state government to conduct the last rites of COVID-19 victims in Andhra Pradesh respectfully. It may be noted that a few recent incidents in Andhra Pradesh, where COVID-19 victims were handled in an undignified manner, drew sharp criticism from different quarters.
Further, the Chief Minister directed all COVID-19 hospitals that no patient seeking treatment must be turned away by the authorities. He warned the hospital authorities that failing to treat patients could result in punitive action, or even cancellation of licences.
Speaking about COVID-19 quarantine centres, the CM stated that the cleanliness, medicines, and quality of food at the centres must be top-notch. He said that a special one-week drive, focussed on providing better services to patients, must be conducted across the state. He instructed that hoardings with helpline numbers must be set up at all the quarantine centres for the benefit of the patients.
The Chief Minister also stated that permanent COVID-19 test centres must be set up in Andhra Pradesh. He instructed officials to chalk out the Standard Operating Procedures and protocols on which groups are to be given priority while testing for the virus. These groups must be defined category-wise, he further added. Mr Reddy also instructed the top officials to work out a plan for increasing the salaries offered to frontline workers during the pandemic.
Officials during the meeting forecasted that nearly 17,000 doctors and 12,000 nurses would be required on the frontlines to handle the COVID-19 crisis in the coming weeks. A database of the new staff and their deployment details made ready by the officials was approved by the Chief Minister.