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COVID-19 | Health infrastructure has increased up to 45-fold to brace successive waves, Centre says in SC

Oxygen-supported beds have multiplied 7.5-fold from 50,583 to 3.81 lakh. | File  

The Centre told the Supreme Court that the nation’s health infrastructure has increased up to 45-fold to brace successive waves of COVID-19 pandemic.

The government also informed the total cumulative vaccine coverage is 27.23 crore doses as on June 19. The total cost, including payment, advance and operational cost, has been ₹9,504.315 crore. The government has shared the information with the court even as apprehensions have been raised about a third wave hitting the country soon.

A detailed affidavit filed by the Centre, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, in the Supreme Court shows that the total ICU beds had increased by 45-fold from a baseline 2,500 to 1,13,035.

The total isolation beds (excluding ICU beds) have climbed 42-fold from 41,000 to 17.17 lakh. The number of category one COVID-19 dedicated hospitals have increased 25-fold from 163 to 4,096, while the number of category two dedicated COVID-19 health centres and category three dedicated COVID-19 care centres are 7,929 and 9,954, respectively. Oxygen-supported beds have multiplied 7.5-fold from 50,583 to 3.81 lakh. Even isolation railway coaches grew from zero to 5,601.

Also Read | Coronavirus: The need to stay prepared for multiple waves and variants

The government said over 1.5 lakh health personnel have been engaged — 7,024 medical officers, 3,680 specialists, 35,996 staff nurses, 18,649 MHWs, 1,01,155 community volunteers, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and ASHA facilitators and 48,453 other support staffs.

The affidavit said insurance coverage was given to 22.12 lakhs heath workers, including ASHAs fighting COVID-19. Testing capacity had been increased with 2,621 labs.

The government called its increase in testing capacity “phenomenal”, from 30,000 tests aday in April 2020 to a high of 22 lakh tests daily. Cumulatively, over 36.1 crore COVID-19 tests were conducted.

The affidavit said 1,051 additional pressure swing adsorption (PSA) plants at the cost of ₹1,137 crores were approved to be set up in various public health facilities across the country. This would take the tally to 1,213 PSA plants funded through the PMCARES Fund, it said.

The Centre had further enhanced the ceiling limit for expenditure of State Disaster Response Fund from 35% to 50% in 2020-21 for States to finance COVID-19 containment measures.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 12:05:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-health-infrastructure-has-increased-up-to-45-fold-to-brace-successive-waves-centre-says-in-sc/article34864011.ece

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