Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel chaired a virtual meeting with the editors of various media institutions in the capital city of Raipur today. In the meeting, Chief Minister invited suggestions from the editors regarding the prevention of COVID-19 and economic activities to be conducted during the COVID crisis. Chief Minister said that in the wake of an alarming rise in the number of COVID cases in Chhattisgarh, State Government is taking all the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and making arrangements to provide treatment to the patients, with the help of social organizations. Mr Baghel has appealed to media persons to extend their support in the prevention of COVID-19 infection and in creating public awareness about the COVID vaccination campaign. Chief Minister said that in this time of crisis, private hospitals should adopt a humanitarian approach in the treatment of patients. On this occasion, Advisor to Chief Minister Mr Ruchir Garg, Public Relations Secretary Mr D.D. Singh and Secretary to Chief Minister Mr Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi were also present.
In the meeting, Chief Minister said that State Government has made better arrangements for vaccination, testing and treatment of COVID patients in the state. The state government is making dedicated efforts to provide relief to the patients. There is no shortage of ventilators and oxygen beds and an adequate amount of funds are available for the COVID prevention drive. Mr Baghel further said that soon an initiative will be taken to fix the rates of test and treatment of COVID-19 in private hospitals. Similarly, the rate of Remedesiver injection will also be fixed. It should be noted that 4500 doses of the vaccine are available in government and private hospitals, and the state government is making consistent efforts to ensure that the people in need get the dose of this medicine. Necessary steps are being taken for the expansion of COVID screening, treatment and vaccination facilities. Mr Baghel informed that he has requested Prime Minister to set the minimum age of vaccination as 18 years.
Chief Minister said that in view of the current state of COVID-19 infection in the state, Education Minister has been instructed to postpone the date of the 10th board examinations under the Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education. The testing facility in rural areas would be further expanded to prevent the spread of COVID infection there. In the meeting, Chief Minister assured the editors that their suggestion to start a quarantine centre in rural areas for people coming from outside will be taken into consideration. The state government is also making efforts to ensure the speedy delivery of COVID test reports to the patients. He also informed that the officials concerned have been directed to start the RTPCR test of people at the airport and railway stations. Chief Minister also said that Chhattisgarh will be the first priority for supplying oxygen from the oxygen plant of Bhilai. Services of doctors working in other sectors will also be availed for COVID-19 treatment. Officials have also been directed to increase the number of oxygen beds in the state. Efforts are being made to overcome the medical staff shortage. In the same sequence, graduating nursing students are being trained and deployed.
Providing information about the status of COVID-19 cases in the state, Chief Minister said that the state’s COVID positivity rate increased to one per cent in the month of March 2021 and escalated to 24 per cent on April 7. Raipur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Bemetara are the districts with the highest number of COVID positive cases in the state. He said that Chhattisgarh is one of the few states in the country, where the maximum number of people are being tested per 10 lakh population. Currently, the daily average of COVID testing is 39 thousand 4. In Chhattisgarh, 1435 tests per 10 lakh population are being done every day, while the national average for the same is 929 tests per 10 lakh population per day. The percentage of RTPCR tests in the month of October 2020 was 26 per cent, which has increased to 40 per cent in April 2021. 36 specialized COVID hospitals and 66 COVID care centres have been established by the state government to provide treatment to the COVID-19 patients. 78 private hospitals of the state have also been authorized for COVID-19 treatment. There are a total of 16 thousand 207 beds, including 3446 oxygen facilities, 902 HDUs and 1167 ICU beds in the state.
About the progress of the COVID vaccination campaign, Chief Minister informed that till April 8, 2021, a total of 37 lakh 27 thousand 552 vaccine doses have been provided in the state. The first dose of vaccination has been given to 87 per cent of the health workers, 84 per cent of the frontline workers and 43 per cent of the beneficiaries aged above 45 years. He informed that 207 containment zones have been declared in the state, where active surveillance and door-to-door testing is being done.