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Ramp-up testing for COVID-19, health infrastructure, Mandaviya asks States

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. File

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. File

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has directed stakeholders to ramp-up COVID testing to keep a close watch on the emerging clusters, hotspots and monitor the trend of hospitalised cases along with the deaths.

Speaking at a virtual meeting, on Tuesday, with State Health Ministers and senior officials of nine States and Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Ladakh and Uttar Pradesh — the Minister asked them to adopt the hub and spoke model while ensuring that more centres for tele-consultations are opened.

He also asked them to ensure effective monitoring of the substantial number of active cases across the country recuperating from COVID-19 in home isolation while stating that it is important to focus on expanding the reach of tele-consultation services for providing timely, quality healthcare to the beneficiaries.

Stressing that vaccination remains a potent tool to fight COVID-19, the Minister said that vaccinated people are less prone to severity and hospitalisation as seen in India and globally.

“Higher hospitalisation is being seen in unvaccinated people and hence it becomes crucial to vaccinate the unvaccinated,” he said while directing States to promote vaccination among the 15-18 age group and ensure full coverage in the districts that have shown a lower coverage of the first and second doses.

Mr. Mandaviya spoke about using tele-consultation service like e-Sanjeevani that he said can prove to be a game changer especially for hard-to-reach areas.

“States need to ensure that these centres work 24X7 and ensure convenience for both the common public and health experts. To ensure minimum hassle and travelling, such expert advise can be provided at the block levels, secondary or primary health centre levels tool”, he stated.

At the meeting, which was held to review the public health preparedness for containment and management of COVID-19 and progress of national COVID-19 vaccination campaign, he also spoke about the need to strengthen health infrastructure.

He urged the State Health Ministers to plug the existing gaps by efficiently utilising the amount sanctioned for various infrastructure projects. “With strengthened health infrastructure, we can meet any health emergency and public health crisis with better preparedness”, he said. States were advised to ensure regular updation of availability, occupancy and use of infrastructure like hospital beds, oxygen equipments on the COVID-19 portal.

It was noted that this updation would help in obtaining a bigger picture and taking data-driven decisions at several levels for efficient public health response.


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 2:40:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/union-health-minister-mansukh-mandaviya-press-conference-about-coronavirus-pandemic-on-january-25-2022/article38324151.ece