Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has stressed the need for enhancing medical facilities and infrastructure in the country with lessons learnt from the experiences in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is need for improving the medical facilities and there should be vision in planning for future in this direction. Comprehensive planning should go into strengthening the existing facilities and the State and Central governments should work hand in hand in their implementation, he said.

The Chief Minister participated in the video conference conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss measures taken to tackle COVID-19. Chief Ministers of nine other States — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh — also participated in the conference. Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao briefed the meeting about the steps initiated by the government to contain the virus.

Stressing the need for putting in place necessary infrastructure, he said the country was in the midst of a first of its kind situation due to Covid-19 and uncertainty continued over how long it would take to overcome the existing crisis. The country had faced pandemics in the past and the scope of incidence of viruses like COVID-19 in future could not be ruled out.

Steps should, therefore, be taken to provide medical help to people and at the same time, focus should be on evolving systems to effectively tackle such incidents in the future, he said. “We should gear up to meet any emergency in the future,” the Chief Minister added. Accordingly, evaluation of key factors like the availability of doctors in proportion to the population and establishment of new medical colleges should be taken up to ensure that the medical establishment could withstand incidence of such pandemics in the coming days.

He suggested that the Prime Minister should take an initiative in this direction and the Centre and States should work together to enhance medical facilities. Explaining steps initiated by the government, he said the recovery rate in Telangana was 71% and fatalities stood at a mere 0.7%. Testing had been significantly enhanced and steps had been taken to provide effective treatment to the affected people.

The government was following the guidelines issued by the NITI Aayog, Indian Council of Medical Research and Central teams visiting the State from time to time and that required infrastructure like beds, medicines and equipment had been kept ready. Health Minister Eatala Rajender, government’s Chief Adviser Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and other senior officials also participated in the video conference.

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