New Delhi: COVID-19 hospitals across the country are conducting mock drills today (December 27) to assess India’s preparedness to tackle any spurt in Covid cases in the upcoming days. This comes in the backdrop of a sudden rise in Novel Coronavirus cases in various countries including China, the United States and Japan and reports of Omicron sub-variant BF.7. In a letter dated December 24, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said that it is necessary that in all states and union territories (UTs) requisite public health measures are put in place to meet any exigencies.
Also Read: “Wear Mask, Wash Hands…”: On Mann Ki Baat, PM Modi Urges People To Be Vigilant Amid Surge In COVID-19 Cases
Mr Bhushan had advised a mock drill with the objective of ensuring the operational readiness of health facilities for the management of COVID-19. The focus of the mock drill is on:
- Geographical representative availability of health facilities – covering all districts
- Bed capacities – isolation beds, oxygen-supported isolation beds, ICU beds and ventilator-supported beds
- Availability of human resources
- Human resource capacity – healthcare professionals trained on COVID-19 management, ventilator management protocol, etc
- Referral services –availability of advanced and basic life support ambulances, other ambulances, etc
- Testing capacities
- Logistics availability – availability of drugs, ventilators, etc
- Medical oxygen
- Availability of telemedicine services
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to secretaries (Health) of States and UTs regarding conducting mock drills at all health facilities (including identified COVID-dedicated health facilities) across the country on December 27. pic.twitter.com/cXYdG7T3qg
— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2022
Also Read: States, Centre Need To Work In Collaborative Spirit To Prevent COVID Surge: Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya
Mr Mandaviya reviewed the Covid response mock drill at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi to check its readiness to deal with any surge in the number of coronavirus cases. After the inspection, Mr Mandaviya spoke to the media and said that the government is preparing to keep a check on Covid and ensure that it doesn’t spread. He said,
The mock drill is being conducted to ensure all hospitals are ready to tackle the rise in cases and citizens can access treatment easily. The kind of preparations made at Safdarjung Hospital is being replicated at other government and private hospitals in the country.
Mr Mandaviya categorically said that, in the coming day, the COVID-19 cases might rise and hence, it is critical to be geared up for it.
कोविड से सतर्क रहने हेतु प्रधानमंत्री @NarendraModi जी के आदेश अनुसार, पुरे देशभर में आज कोविड अस्पतालों में mock drill की जा रही है।
मैंने सफदरजंग अस्पताल में कोविड रिस्पॉन्स मॉक ड्रिल की समीक्षा की। pic.twitter.com/DQ3Efas9YD
— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) December 27, 2022
Delhi’s residents will be able to access real-time data on the availability of beds, oxygen cylinders and ventilators on a government portal, starting Tuesday, news agency PTI quoted officials as saying.
The Delhi government on Monday (December 26) approved a budget of Rs 104 crore for hospitals to procure general medicines as part of preparations to deal with emergency situations amid a surge in Covid cases in some countries.
On Monday, the health minister had a detailed discussion with state health ministers and doctors from the Indian Medical Association. During the meeting, he said,
Such exercises would help our operational readiness, help in filling gaps if any and will consequently strengthen our public health response.
Also Read: PM Modi Urges Wearing Mask, Ramp Up Testing And Taking Precautionary Dose
In Mumbai, the medical facilities which will conduct the mock drill include the civic-run Seven Hills Hospital (having 1,700 beds) and Kasturba Hospital (35 beds), government-run Cama Hospital (100 beds), St George Hospital (70 beds), Tata Hospital (16 beds), and Jagjivan Ram Hospital (12 beds). The state-run J J Hospital also informed that it will conduct the mock drill.
On Monday (December 26), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a press release sharing the status of the health infrastructure for Covid. BMC has identified 10 civic hospitals, three government hospitals and 21 private hospitals having 2,124 isolation beds, of which 1,523 are functional. The hospitals have 1,613 oxygen-supported beds and of those 1,021 are functional. They have 579 ICU beds, of which 473 are functional and of the 1,079 ventilators, 954 are functional, the release said.
The city has 859 functional oxygen concentrators and 2,933 oxygen cylinders, apart from 79 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants of 1,468 metric tons capacity and liquid medical oxygen of 268 metric tons capacity, it added.
As far as healthcare workers are concerned, out of the 3,245 doctors, 3,453 paramedics and 5,784 nurses, as many as 2,828 doctors, 3,246 paramedics and 4,029 nurses are trained in COVID-19 management, it said.
To diagnose and track COVID-19 cases, the city has a daily testing capacity of 1,35,035 at 34 hospitals and 49 laboratories, according to the release.
Also Read: “Mask Up India”: Centre Issues COVID-19 Advisory Amid Rise In Infections In Countries Like US And China
In Chhattisgarh, a mock drill was organised in all the district hospitals, community centres and primary health centres. During the mock drill, the oxygen plants, oxygen cylinders and pipes, ICU wards, ventilators and other facilities were inspected and checked to make sure they can be used when needed.
As reported by the news agency PTI, Civil Surgeon of Raipur District Hospital Dr P K Gupta said,
During the mock drill, we checked the oxygen plant, to see if the oxygen is being supplied to the ward. We also turned on two ventilators, in which we saw that the oxygen was flowing well. Around one and half months ago, we admitted a patient in this ward, he had been cured and discharged now. All the machines, oxygen plant and ventilators are in ready mode here. We can use it whenever a patient arrives.
In an initiative to prevent a shortage of oxygen, the Telangana government established oxygen production plants with a capacity of 324 tonnes in a government hospital in Hyderabad. Shyam Rao, Golconda hospital technician, speaking to the news agency ANI, stated that the oxygen plant is under his management. He said,
There is full availability of oxygen here. Even if 100 corona patients are admitted, we have the capacitor to give them oxygen. Our doctors are available 24/7. The oxygen plant is also running 24/7.
Also Read: ‘Mask Up, Maintain Social Distancing, Avoid International Travel’, Indian Medical Association Issues Advisory On COVID-19
COVID-19 In India
On Tuesday, India reported 156 new cases of COVID-19. On average, 180 fresh cases are reported daily. The government is on alert mode as Covid is creating havoc in China as millions of cases continue to be reported every day. On Saturday (December 24), the random coronavirus testing of international arriving passengers started at Delhi airport. Two per cent of passengers arriving in each international flight will be subject to random coronavirus testing at airports.
On Monday, as part of the drill, four foreign nationals tested positive following RT-PCR tests at Bihar’s Gaya Airport and have been kept in isolation at a hotel. The four foreigners – one from Myanmar, one from Thailand and two from England – had come to Bodh Gaya.
A day before, a 40-year-old man, who returned from China on Friday, tested positive for coronavirus.
Also Read: UP Man Who Returned From China Tests Positive, Quarantined At Home
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the 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, which 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.