With Proper Ground Work

Andhra Pradesh, a state with one of the highest GDP growth rates, certainly has a lot at stake to make the vaccination drive a successful one in order to ease the Covid situation and bring the state’s economy back to full bloom. It is one of the states which is seeing a heavy volunteer participation for the vaccination process. Earlier, village volunteers were instructed to conduct a door-to-door survey for preparation of a database of co-morbid persons. 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the Covid- 19 vaccination drive at the Government General Hospital (GGH) in the city on 16th January. The first phase to cover 3.6 lakh health care workers to be vaccinated across 1940 vaccine sites, each site vaccinate 100 health worker per day. Each site would be managed by a digital assistant, an ANM, an Anganwadi worker, and one Asha worker. In the presence of Chief Minister, the first shot of vaccination was given to a sanitation worker on Saturday 16th .

Department of Health, Andhra Pradesh had reported that on the day one of the vaccination drive a total of 19,108 frontline workers were vaccinated across 332 sessions. The drive was inaugurated in the state in Ananthapur district by district authorities and people representatives. 

Earlier, to curb the spread of the virus, Andhra Pradesh was one of the few states that conducted five rounds of the Covid-19 household surveys collecting data relating to travellers from overseas, high-risk areas, and then conducting surveillance and immunisation against other viral infections too. For the vaccination process, the state setup control rooms – at the state, district and mandal level – a dedicated call centre was setup to provide roundthe- clock assistance.

The Task Force Committees have been constituted at the state level, district level and at the mandal level who will be in charge for monitoring and coordinating activities involved in the preparedness and implementation of Covid-19 vaccination. The Mandal development officer (MDO), mandal education officer (MEO), Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), Station House Officer (SHO), all medical officer within the mandal, an assistant engineer, one representative from transport department nominated by district collector, one NGO member nominated by the district collector. With a geographical area of 160,205 sq km., Andhra Pradesh is a region of welldeveloped social, physical, and industrial infrastructure and virtual connectivity. It also has good power, airport, IT, and port infrastructure. As per the data from IBEF (Indian Brand Equity Foundation) Andhra Pradesh’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is estimated at Rs. 9,72,782 crore (US$ 138 billion) for 2019-20 as opposed to Rs. 8,62,957 crore (US$ 126 billion) for 2018-19. Undeniably, the state plays an important role in aiding the overall country’s economy on track. 

Countering Covid Impact 

In fact, to counter the impact of Covid- 19, the state brought in its new Industrial Policy for 2020-23. At the same time, districts have been identified to promote growth of specific sectors. With manufacturing as high priority, ten thrust areas have been highlighted to be in chief focus. Post vaccination drive, executing the policies could be the state’s main focus. Prominent industries in Andhra Pradesh being agro and food, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, IT, textile and leather, among others. To cover the entire state in the vaccination process, 10 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be required to  administer to five-crore people in the state. The entire process is likely to take around eight months. Again, according to the health department, a total of 13 lakhs vials would be required. Andhra Pradesh constitutes one state and four regional cold storage centres (one each at Kurnool, Kadapa, Guntur and Visakhapatnam), 13 district vaccine storage units and 1,659 cold chain points. Adding to that, the state has geared up a total of 40,410 session sites and 19 transport vehicles for vaccine distribution to districts even as it plans to hire another 26 such vehicles. Apparently, as per news reports, the vaccination process is going to be an hurdle for the Andhra Pradesh’s Panchayat elections to be held.

Earlier the Andhra Pradesh High Court had ordered the Panchayat elections to be held. Speculations are that the state is going challenge the order in the supreme court. At the time of filing the story, the number of active coronavirus cases in the state were 1522 and the number of deaths were 7142. (The figures were sourced from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India) Andhra Pradesh is indeed one of the most Covid-affected states in India. Like in the rest of the country, the lockdown implemented in the state had a huge impact on the lives of the rural and tribal people, whose main livelihood was either daily wage labour or selling of local produce. The present vaccination process is defintely a much-awaited moment for the residents of the state.

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