The Andhra Pradesh State Government has been forthcoming in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, right from arranging for beds, ambulances, covering private COVID healthcare under Arogyasri Health Scheme and testing aggressively. In the latest, the AP State Government has allocated an extra amount of Rs 1 crore to every district in the fight against COVID-19. The allocated amount will be used to procure medical equipment and bettering healthcare infrastructure in the districts. Joint Collectors of every district in AP will be responsible for the responsible division and spending of the funds, stated Principal Secretary (R&B) and COVID-19 Task Force Committee chairman MT Krishna Babu.
Elaborating on the specifics, the Committee Chairman stated the extra fund for COVID-19 will be utilised for procuring ECG machines, mobile X-ray machines and lab equipment used to test vitals in each district of AP. In terms of infrastructure, toilet blocks in COVID care centres will either be improved or built newly. As part of the announcement, instructions were given to increase the capacity in COVID care centres to accommodate 5,000 beds across all districts.
The Nodal Officer also announced that an amount of Rs. 500/- per day will be allocated towards food supply of each patient seeking treatment at COVID Care centres. Menu details based on the nutrition requirements of patients will be made available at the centres. Warnings were also issued that disciplinary action will be taken against the employees who are found in violation of rules, or providing lesser quality treatment to patients at the centres.
The Nodal Officer stated that officials have identified 76 COVID Care Centres in AP, totalling a bed strength of 45,240 so far. These centres, meant for asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms are 15 minutes away from the nearest hospital. The centres are specifically made available for those without a home quarantine facility. The officer stated that feedback from inmates and employees at COVID centres is being taken regularly, based on which new improvements are being made at the centres.