- States to focus on expanding reach of teleconsultation services: Centre
- Strong need for ramping up testing: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya
- Vaccination remains a potent tool to fight COVID-19: Mr Mandaviya
New Delhi: In view of a substantial number of COVID-19 patients recuperating in home isolation, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday (January 25) asked states to focus on expanding the reach of teleconsultation services to provide timely healthcare. He interacted with health ministers, senior bureaucrats and administrators of nine states and union territories Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Ladakh and Uttar Pradesh, according to a statement from the health ministry. Mr Mandaviya urged them to adopt the hub and spoke model and open additional teleconsultation centres. This will enable beneficiaries to access advice from experts stationed at district hubs, it said.
He said the government’s eSanjeevani telemedicine system has provided services to more than 2.6 crore beneficiaries where people can seek medical advice from the confines of their homes.
This will prove to be a game-changer and will be of immense value and importance for the hard-to-reach and far-flung areas, and especially in the northern regions in the current winter season, he highlighted.
Also Read: Dangerous To Assume Omicron Will Be The Last Variant; We Can End The Acute Phase Of COVID-19 This Year: WHO Chief
States and union territories 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 advice can be provided at the block levels, secondary or primary health centre levels too, the official communique stated quoting Mandaviya. He advised the states and union territories to ensure that those in home isolation are efficiently monitored in line with the national guidelines. This will ensure that the vulnerable categories of active cases in home isolation get the required medical help in a timely manner, the statement said. The virtual meeting was held to review public health preparedness for containment and management of COVID-19 and the progress of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign. State health ministers who joined the high-level review meeting included Anil Vij from Haryana and Uttarakhand’s Dhan Singh Rawat.
Reiterating that the Centre is dedicated to supporting states and union territories in containment and management of COVID-19, Mandaviya requested the attendees to review and expedite implementation of activities under the COVID Response Plans-II (ECRP-II) package for strengthening the health infrastructure. He urged the health ministers and state authorities to plug the existing gaps by efficiently utilizing the amount sanctioned for various infra projects, the statement said.
Also Read: COVID-19 And Omicron: About Time You Break Up With A Cloth Mask? Here’s What Experts Have To Say
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 such as hospital beds, pressure swing adsorption plants and oxygen equipment on the COVID-19 portal.This update will help in obtaining a bigger picture and taking data-driven decisions at several levels for efficient public health response, it was noted. The Union health minister re-emphasised the need for ramping up testing. Those states and union territories showing a lower share of RT-PCR testing were requested to expedite tests, the statement said. They were also reminded to keep a close watch on the emerging clusters and hotspots, and monitor the trend of hospitalised cases, along with the deaths in the state.
Vaccination remains a potent tool to fight COVID-19. 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, Mr Mandaviya said.
He also requested states to promote vaccination among adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years and ensure full coverage in the districts that have shown a lower coverage of the first and second doses.
Also Read: India’s Omicron Wave May Intensify In Coming Weeks, Say Experts
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.