Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], April 28 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has said that COVID crisis would soon be overcome with the cooperation of everyone in the state and media should come forward to support in busting myths and fears around the disease.
During an interaction with media heads of the capital city via video conferencing to take suggestions on the current Covid situation in the state on Tuesday, he said, there will be no shortage of funds to defeat coronavirus in Chhattisgarh.
As per a state government's release, the Chief Minister said that the Covid crisis would be soon overcome with the cooperation of everyone in the state, and "Media should come forward to support in busting myths and fears around COVID-19 disease"
Calling the role of press and media as 'very important' during the pandemic, Baghel said, "To win this battle against Covid-19, we need support and contribution from every section of society, especially from the press and media."
The Chief Minister said that soon after coming into power, the Congress-led state government took every possible initiative to expand the health facilities in the state.
"At present, every necessary resource is being arranged promptly, while keeping a constant watch on the current status of corona infection in the state. As a result, Chhattisgarh has enough ICU beds, HDU beds and oxygen beds at present. There were 279 beds in the state in the year 2018, which has been increased to 729 at present. Oxygen beds have been increased from 1,242 to 7,042," he said.
Earlier there was not even a single HDU bed in Chhattisgarh, but now the state has 477 HDU beds. There were 15,001 general beds in the hospitals of the state, which has been increased to 29,667. There were 204 ventilators in the state at the end of 2018, which has been increased to 593. In this way, the state's health facilities have increased manifold," he said.
Baghel added that presently, all the necessary arrangements are being made for prevention and control of Covid-19 infection, and in the same sequence, Covid medicine kits are being made available in every household of the rural areas, which has helped in preventing the infection to a great extent.
"So far 6,39,696 people were found Covid positive in the state, out of which 5,09,622 people have already recovered. At present, there are 1,22,963 active Covid cases in the state. The active patient ratio is nearly 19.22 per cent, while the recovery rate is 79.67 per cent," he said.
The Chief Minister also informed that Chhattisgarh has left behind many "developed and resource-rich" states in the country, in terms of Covid vaccination.
"More than 53 lakh doses of the vaccine have been given in the state and we rank second in the country in this case. We are going to create a new history in Chhattisgarh from May 1, by providing free Covid vaccination to all the people of age group 18 to 44 years and a comprehensive action plan have been prepared for the same," he said.
Notably, Chhattisgarh Government has ordered 50 lakh doses--25 lakh doses each from the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech.
Baghel said that the state government has "resolved not to allow a shortage of funds in this battle against Corona".
As per the release, in the past two years, The Chhattisgarh government has made provision of Rs 880 crore in the health budget, and a provision of Rs 50 crore in the SDRF this year.
The release said that people of the state have extended generous contribution to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, and the state government has so far released Rs 73 crore 53 lakh to the districts for the fight against Covid-19 from the fund.
"In this way, Rs 1003 crore 53 lakh have been spent so far in the health sector. We also have Rs 53 crore 88 lakh in the Chief Minister's Assistance Fund, which will also be utilized for Covid prevention and control," Baghel said.
Calling the journalists as the front line workers of democracy, he said even today, in the midst of the Covid crisis, the press and media are sincerely committed to their duties and responsibilities, which is commendable.
"Much confusing news regarding death, funeral, drugs, and oxygen in the context of Covid infection has been going viral, which has had negative effects on the public. In this situation, media can play an extremely important role in busting myths and fears regarding Covid infection," Baghel said.
He appealed to the media heads to clear the confusion and fear in minds of people and to boost the morale of the patients. He also said that the list of all journalists in the state should be updated in the local public relations office so that if a journalist is found Covid positive, he can be provided financial assistance and help required. (ANI)