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Telangana declares holidays for schools as the number of COVID-19 cases sees a steep rise

Published : Jan 04, 2022 20:24 IST T+T-

Health workers administering COVID-19 vaccine at Ramakrishnapuram in Khammam district on January 4.

The steeply rising number of COVID-19 cases, especially of the Omicron variant, has prompted the Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to declare nine days holidays starting January 8 for all educational institutions in the State. The Chief Minister, who chaired a review of the COVID-19 situation in Telangana, ruled out the imposition of a lockdown for the present.

The COVID-19 review meeting was attended by Ministers T. Harish Rao, Vemula Prashant Reddy and A. Indrakaran Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and several other senior officials.

Stating that there was “no need to panic” about the rising number of Omicron cases, Chandrashekar Rao asked the people “not to be negligent” either. “People should wear masks and maintain social distancing and strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines being issued by the government,” he said.

Chandrashekar Rao disclosed that the State was looking to increase oxygen production from the present 324 tonnes (earlier increased from 140 tonnes) to 500 tonnes to meet any increased demand for oxygen. According to him, Telangana will soon be increasing the presently available 20 lakh COVID-19 isolation kits to one crore and the existing 35 lakh testing kits to two crore.

The Chief Minister also directed officials to fortify the State’s health infrastructure facilities by ensuring the availability of doctors, filling up vacancies on priority and making sure there were sufficient beds, oxygen beds, medicines and testing kits in the State’s hospitals. He stated that 99 per cent of all beds in the government hospitals had already been converted into oxygen beds. Chandrashekar Rao said: “If required, old district collectorates and other office buildings can be utilised for isolation centres or for requirement of the health department.”

The Chief Minister stated that the holding of rallies, meetings and gatherings will be prevented to stop the further spread of the coronavirus.

The advent of COVID-19 vaccination for children in the 15-18 years age group saw 26,115 children being administered the vaccine in the State. According to Health Minister T. Harish Rao, Telangana has an estimated target population of 18,41,000 in the 15 to 18 years age group waiting to be vaccinated. Telangana has opened an additional 1,014 vaccination centres to cater to this age group.

On January 3, Telangana reported 482 new COVID-19 infections, an almost doubling of the previous day’s numbers. The State has 4,048 COVID-19 patients under treatment or isolation. Of these 1,212 are in hospitals.

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