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Coronavirus | Centre promises more oxygen, ventilators for U.P., Chhattisgarh

A paramedical staff checks the oxygen level of a person in New Delhi. Photo used for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has informed Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that their demand for 10 litre and 45 litre jumbo oxygen cylinders and additional ventilators having high flow nasal canula will be met very soon, a statement from the Union Health Ministry said.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has also written to all States to ensure that no restriction is imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between States and Union Territories. In the letter he asked the States not to limit supply only to hospitals run in a particular State. “There shall be free movement of vehicles carrying oxygen in cities without any time limit or inter-city restriction,” the letter stated.

Mr. Bhalla and Mr. Bhushan chaired high-level meetings on Friday to review the status of COVID-19 in Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh The meeting was attended Dr V.K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, Dr (Prof) Sunil Kumar, DGHS, Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and Health Secretaries of both the States.

Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are the only States that have more than 1 lakh active COVID-19 cases.

Both Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are reporting very high number of daily new cases and high deaths. The Ministry said Chhattisgarh has reported nearly 6.2% increase in weekly new COVID cases based on 7-day moving average. “In last two weeks, the State has seen almost 131% increase in weekly new cases. 22 districts in Chhattisgarh have crossed their reported highest cases in the last 30 days — Raipur, Durg, Rajnandgaon and Bilaspur are the most affected districts. In contrast to the week 17-23 March, in the week of 7-13 April, RT-PCR tests have decreased to 28% from 34% while the antigen tests have increased to 62% from 53%,” the Ministry said.

Uttar Pradesh has reported a growth rate of 19.25% in daily new cases. 46 districts in Uttar Pradesh have crossed their reported highest cases in the last 30 days — Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj are the most affected districts. In contrast to the week 17-23 March, the week of 7-13 April, RT-PCR tests have decreased to 46% from 48% while antigen tests have increased to 53% from 51%.

The reported shortage of hospital infrastructure such as ICU and oxygen supported hospitals beds resulting in difficulty to the public in easily accessing critical healthcare services were discussed in comprehensive detail, requiring an urgent ramping up of hospital infrastructure, it said.

“The Union government has mapped the manufacturing sources of Oxygen with the 12 States reporting the highest number of daily new cases. States have been advised to increase dedicated COVID-19 beds and use the available buildings in the hospital campus (including AIIMS) for creation of additional COVID-19 dedicated wards. The States were also advised to make use of the hospitals of Union Ministries and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for treating the COVID-19 patients,” ministry said.

The Ministry is informing the States daily about the supply of COVID-19 vaccines “to enable better planning for optimum utilisation of the vaccines.”

“An augmented health workforce would be needed in the coming days for contact tracing and house-to-house survey for the symptomatic patients. The States were advised deployment of volunteers and women Self Help Groups (SHGs), and hiring retired doctors/paramedics etc., on contract under National Health Mission funds,” the Ministry said.

Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR recommended setting up of more testing labs, including mobile labs. He also advised for keeping a vigil and ramping up of testing on a continuous basis in districts showing more than 5% positivity rate.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 7:21:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-centre-promises-more-oxygen-ventilators-for-up-chhattisgarh/article34337213.ece

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