Thiruvananthapuram: With Covid-19 cases continuing to rise in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Saturday chaired a meeting with the private hospitals and asked them to allocate 25 per cent of the total beds for Covid patients.
As many as 26,685 people tested positive for coronavirus in the state Saturday.
“Even though cases are on the rise in Kerala, there need not be a worry like what is seen in north India. As a precautionary step, held a meeting with the private sector hospitals who have pledged full support.
“We have asked them to ensure that all the ICU beds and the ventilators are checked and kept ready,” Vijayan told the media here. The state’s positive cases stand at 1,98,576.
“Absolute caution has to be maintained by all, if things go out of the hand it could go beyond our reach. The two-day lockdown protocols in the state from Saturday have been getting a good response, as by and large people have remained indoors,” added Vijayan.
He again reiterated that the Centre should reconsider its vaccine policy and ensure that it is being provided free of cost.
“The new rate for Covishield vaccine in the private sector is Rs 600, which by far is the highest priced in the whole world. The state has to pay Serum Institute (SII) Rs 400, which also is high priced, while this has been given to other countries at a lower price than this.
“What we are told is this company is making a profit of Rs 150 per dose. These rates are not fair priced and again I have written to the PM Narendra Modi,” said Vijayan. The Chief Minister pointed out that the response of the people to contribute to the CMDR Fund to buy vaccines has been really encouraging and on Saturday alone Rs 1.15 crore came in.
“At the moment we are not worried about the oxygen stock and we feel we need not be too much concerned about it. We have asked the expert committee to take the call on how best we can help states which are running short of oxygen,” Vijayan added.