Action plan to tackle third wave

The Health Department will increase treatment facilities in hospitals and daily vaccinations to two to 2.5 lakh people under a new action plan for tackling the COVID-19 third wave if it hits Kerala. Production of medical oxygen also will be stepped up under this plan.

Health Minister Veena George convened a meeting on Monday to discuss strategies for dealing with the third wave if it materialises. The department aims to increase the number of vaccinations administered daily to two to 2.5 lakh people. Availability of vaccine doses, staff, and facilities need to be ensured, the Minister said. The department plans to launch a registration drive for people who are not familiar with the online registration process for vaccination.

The Minister directed officials to ensure that the inoculation drive progresses smoothly on Sundays and other holidays. Treatment facilities in the hospitals, including medical colleges, will be increased as part of the action plan. The cooperation of private healthcare establishments will be guaranteed in this regard, the Health Department said on Monday.

Effective intervention by the department and the lockdown measures have helped to reduce the intensity of the second wave in the State, Ms. George said. Only 47% of the beds earmarked for COVID-19 patients are occupied at present. However, anticipating a third wave, the government plans to increase the number of beds in government and private hospitals. The number of oxygen beds, ICUs, and ventilators also will be increased, she said.

The Health Department is implementing a surge plan anticipating that the third wave is likely to affect children. Steps have been initiated to increase facilities for paediatric care and provide training to medical staff. The number of beds in paediatric ICUs also will be increased.

The Kerala Medical Services Corporation has been directed to stock medicines, equipment, and safety gear as part of the action plan. Health workers will be provided infection control training.

As part of streamlining infection management measures in the districts, the department has asked officials to submit reports on the available facilities and requirements by Tuesday.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 2:36:24 AM |

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