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AP made rapid strides in healthcare during 2020

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The state government has largely been successful in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the initiatives launched by the Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy to develop healthcare facilities in the state.

The state made rapid strides in developing infrastructure and facilities to control the pandemic. The government has also widened the health network by pressing into the service of the Village Secretariat system and closely monitoring the situation.

Several testing labs were opened in record time. The 3T mantra (Trace, Test and Treat) was the policy adopted by the officials to check the havoc caused by Covid. The health staff, ANMs, Village and Ward Volunteers, and sanitation workers did a commendable job in containing the pandemic.

According to official sources, about 1.15 crore tests were conducted covering nearly 20 percent of the state population as on December 25. AP stands first in conducting Covid tests in the country. About 8.80 lakh were infected with an average positivity rate of 7.64 percent, the death rate was just 0.81 percent much lower than the national average.

An effective control system was put in place by opening testing facilities, starting Covid care centers, and setting up a structured network right from 104 toll-free number to telemedicine. The number of virology labs quickly went up to 150 from zero.

The state has followed a decentralized model of sample collection centers and about 1,519 facilities acted as sample collection centers ranging from teaching hospitals to primary health centers and mobile units. Doctors, paramedical staff, employees of village and ward secretariats, volunteers, sanitation workers, ASHA workers, and ANMs played a vital role during the pandemic.

YSR Aarogyasri was strengthened by bringing more diseases under its cover and the revamping of existing Government hospitals under Nadu- Nedu. Giving the green signal to start 16 more teaching hospitals, covering tribal areas as well, will go a long way in healthcare. The year started with Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy fulfilling his election promise by launching the pilot project on January 3 in West Godavari district to provide medical cover to any treatment that costs Rs 1,000 or more bringing 2,059 ailments under its purview from the earlier 1,059.

The scheme was extended to Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Prakasam, YSR Kadapa, and Kurnool districts from July 16 covering 2,200 ailments. Later, it was implemented in Srikakulam, East Godavari, Krishna, Nellore, Chittoor, and Anantapur districts to cover the entire state, the number of procedures were increased by 234 taking the total to 2,436 on November 10. During the year, the state has recruited 508 new Aarogya Mithras and 670 new help desks were set up in the network hospitals. About 1,404 ambulances of 108 and 104 were pressed into service.

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