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Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to PM Modi on Saturday opposing the Centre's decision to allow private hospitals to directly procure COVID vaccines from the makers. Terming the GoI's policy decision as one that sends out 'wrong signals', the Andhra Pradesh CM claimed that private hospitals were charging exorbitant rates ranging from Rs 2000-25000 for COVID vaccines as a result of the price at which the doses were offered to them in addition to the flexibility given to fix the price of the vaccines. Admitting vaccine shortage in his state, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy reckoned that it was unreasonable to allow private hospitals to overcharge for COVID vaccines while the state govt was unable to inoculate people above 45 years of age while the vaccination drive for people above 18 years would take few more months.
Terming it as a 'disadvantage to the poor sections of the society, Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan noted that the idea of making vaccines available in both private and govt hospitals was feasible only if there was surplus supply & that allowing private hospitals to fix the prices of the doses was 'socially unacceptable' and 'administratively difficult to monitor.' He claimed that it would further lead to black marketing and requested the Centre to stop the supply of vaccines to private hospitals in order to enable the Union & state govt to receive the available stock and hence vaccinate eligible persons as per both govts' respective policies.
The cumulative COVID-19 toll crossed the 10,000-mark in Andhra Pradesh as the state reported a new record high of 118 fatalities in 24 hours ending 9 am on Saturday. With an overall mortality rate of 0.65 per cent, AP is ranked 19th in the country in Covid-19 deaths. The state also registered 19,981 fresh coronavirus cases and 18,336 recoveries in a day, a health department bulletin said.
The gross positives has touched 15,62,060, recoveries 13,41,355 and deaths 10,022. The number of active COVID-19 cases in the state is now 2,10,683, the bulletin said. East Godavari district continued to report a large number of fresh cases as it logged 3,227 more in 24 hours. Chittoor reported 2,581 and Visakhapatnam 2,308 new cases. Three districts reported less than 1,000 each while seven others added between 1,000 and 1,800 new cases each.