Telangana health minister T. Harish Rao sounds slightly worried as people are reluctant to get vaccinated against Covid-19, with a possible new Omicron variant threat looming large.

“We are geared up for another wave, we have facilities and systems in place. But for vaccination, we are not seeing the expected response from people,” Harish Rao told on Friday.

He said it was still early to say anything definitive, though everyone knew Omicron spread faster, which was of concern. “But we are prepared for Omicron or any other variant as these variants can emerge anywhere, outside India or within the country,” he said, adding that if the situation warranted any kind of restrictions, then the issue would be taken to the notice of the Chief Minister, and to the Cabinet for taking decisions.

“For Omicron cases, strict procedures at the

airport are in place. All those arriving from at-risk countries are being tested, and if negative, are allowed to leave, and if positive, are taken to TIMS. It takes four to five days for the genome sequencing results. If not infected by Omicron, then from TIMS they can go to a hospital of their choice. If they want to stay, we will treat them. 

If found Omicron positive, we will keep them at TIMS, treat them, take care of them, until full recovery,” the minister said.

Harish Rao said they had readied 27,000 hospital beds in the government sector, and of these, 25,000 were connected with oxygen supply. “And then there are beds in the private sector. For children, we have 10,000 beds. Of these, 6,000 are in the government hospitals with 2,000 of them being ICU beds. There is no shortage of supplies,” he assured.

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