At least 14 other patients succumbed to the virus infection within 24 hours on the south coast of Andhra. There was some pause, however, as new cases in the region fell to 2,036 on Tuesday.
The toll in the area rose to 1,443, with nine patients in Prakasam district and five in SPSR Nellore district dying from COVID-19.
One person with black fungus infection from Prakasam district was among the deceased. He died while receiving treatment in a private hospital near Vijayawada.
The coronavirus case was nearing the two-lakh mark when 1,251 people in SPSR Nellore district and 785 in Prakasam tested positive for the disease, according to a health bulletin published by the state government.
Over 1,600 patients, including 1,145 in SPSR Nellore, recovered. Active cases remained high at 39,290, with SPSR Nellore district accounting for 18,745 cases and Prakasam district accounting for 20,545 cases.
In Nellore, Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, who is also responsible for SPSR Nellore, checked the health situation together with Ministers M. Goutham Reddy and P. Anil Kumar Yadav.
Mr Goutham Reddy gave details of the measures to remedy the oxygen shortage and said that four oxygen plants with a production capacity of 400 tons would be operational shortly.
YSR Congress MLAs, K. Sanjeeviah, V. Varaprasad Rao, and Ramireddy Pratap Kumar Reddy, highlighted patient suffering from inadequate oxygen beds and the lack of healthcare professionals in public health centers in their constituencies.
“Patients in Sullurpeta are looking for beds in Tirupati and Nellore, and some of them die before they can get one,” lamented Sanjaiah, the MLA of the Sullurpeta party.
Kavali hospitals lacked health professionals to monitor patients in need of oxygen therapy, complained lawmaker Pratap Kumar Reddy. Two of the three urban PHCs in his Gudur Congregation constituency had insufficient health care professionals, Gudur Varaprasada Rao’s MLA added.