Raipur: Covid infections have created havoc in Chhattisgarh, forcing the government to enforce lockdown in more than 8 districts of the state. As there is a surge in fatality rate, Covid infection rate also spiked in the state. On Saturday,14,098 fresh Covid cases were detected, 97 died, meanwhile active cases crossed the mark of 85,860 in the state. This new development on Covid 19 front, made Chhattisgarh’s Health Minister TS Singh Deo as the main target for the opposition party. FPJ carried out an exclusive interview with the Health Minister. Here are excerpts of the interview.
What is the situation of Covid 19 infection in the state?
The spike in the Coronavirus infections cases has deteriorated the condition in the state, health services badly impacted. The prevalent rate of Covid 19 infection has crossed the mark of 20%. Fatality rate is still less than 1% but the rate of infection is quite high which is a matter of concern.
What is the situation of availability of beds and other facilities?
State government is trying its best to fight the highly infectious disease, ample number of new quarantine centres are going to establish at panchayat level, a three hundred bedded isolation centre is going to establish in Raipur indoor stadium. Government has made available 6957 beds in covid hospitals and planned to treble the number of beds in the state. Despite all efforts, the virulence rate is very high in the state.
What is the status of vaccination and Remdesivir?
Our vaccine stock will last for 2-3 days only. Meanwhile, we are running short of the Remdesivir antiviral vaccine and require immediate supply of the vaccine. We are left with 3-4 days' stock of vaccines, he added. The Central Government had said there is no shortage of vaccines, and in the Chief Ministers conference the Prime Minister informed India that India is left with 7 crores of vaccines and Chhattisgarh has the capacity to vaccinate 4 lakh people in a day. However, our position is far better in comparison to our neighbouring states. Vaccines are not manufactured in enough quantity.
You are now demanding more vaccines, earlier you preferred to use Covishield over Co-vaccine opposition alleged?
No, there is no issue of preference, rather I said as the third clinical trial reports were not available which is mandatory we used Covishield. Secondly, in comparison to Covishield, the central government has provided fewer numbers of Co-vaccine.
Earlier you were not in favour of lockdown and now you implemented it.
Lockdown is not a solution to Covid 19 infection, but it slows down the spread of infection. When you are available with two options either save people's lives or opt for financial harm, definitely you choose the second option.
People alleged that the organization of international cricket matches is responsible for Covid explosion in Chhattisgarh. Is it a policy level blunder, what you say?
Was there organization of matches in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, and others. No, but Coronavirus spread has not stopped rather quite high. Here the issue is not cricket match, instead the nature of the virus. The Covid spread rate increased here because people-maintained laxity in Covid protocol. However, cricket matches were permitted when infection rate was less than 2%.
Despite you putting the facts in public honestly, you are targeted by opposition and the media as well, why?
People who speak factual things often get targeted. But I am not a believer of suppressing the facts.