Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday decided to hold mock drills at all health facilities across the country on December 27 in the wake of the COVID alarm due to a surge in infection in many countries.
This is to ensure readiness in the availability of oxygen support, and ICU beds among other preparedness measures in case of a surge of COVID cases in India.
In a letter duly signed by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan dated December 24, the Ministry said that it is necessary that in all States/UTs requisite public health measures are put in place to meet any exigencies, adding that preparedness of COVID health facilities to ensure that the states are in a state of readiness to meet the increase in clinical care needs due to any spurt in cases.
“It has therefore been decided to hold mock drill at all health facilities (including identified COVID-dedicated health facilities) across the country on Tuesday, 27th December 2022,” the Ministry said.
According to the Ministry, the objective of the exercise is to ensure the operational readiness of these health facilities for the management of COVID.
Detailing the focus on the parameters during the mock drills, it said that the main focus will be on the bed capacities including isolation, oxygen-supported and ICU beds at the health facilities.
“Geographically representative availability of health facilities — covering all districts. Bed capacities — Isolation beds, oxygen-supported isolation beds, ICU beds and ventilator-supported beds.
The focus will also be on the optimal availability of human resources which include doctors, nurses, and paramedics. AYUSH doctors, other frontline workers including ASHAs, Anganwadi workers etc.
“Human resource capacity. Healthcare professionals trained in COVID-19 management, Healthcare professionals trained in ventilatory management protocol for severe cases, healthcare workers trained in the operation of PSA plants etc. Referral services: Availability of Advanced and Basic Life Support (ALS/BLS) ambulances, availability of other ambulances (under PPP mode or with NGOs), availability of functional ambulance call centre,” it said.
Boosting the testing capacities and availability of RT-PCR and RAT kits, availability of testing equipment and reagents will also be the focus.
“Logistics availability. Availability of essential drugs. ventilators, BIPAP. SPO2 systems, PPE kits, N-95 masks. etc” the Ministry said.
“Medical oxygen: Oxygen Concentrators, Oxygen Cylinders, PSA Plants. Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks, Medical Gas Pipeline System etc,” it added.
The Ministry informed that the mock drill may be conducted under the guidance of respective district collectors, district magistrates in close consultation with officers of the Health Department of the State/UT.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday announced that RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for passengers coming from five countries including China.
“The RT-PCR test to be mandatory for international arrivals from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand. On arrival, if any passenger from these countries is found symptomatic or tests positive for Covid-19 infection, then he/she will be put under quarantine,” Health Minister Mandaviya said in a conversation with ANI.
He also said that the Air Suvidha form filling to declare the current health status will also be made compulsory for international passengers arriving from these Asian countries.
Taking note of the rising cases of COVID globally, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday said that the Centre and States need to work in “tandem” and in a “collaborative spirit” as was done during the previous surges.
Mandaviya, while chairing a virtual meeting Friday with the health ministers of the states, Principal Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries and Information Commissioners, said that the country needs to be on the alert and be fully prepared for COVID management.
The meeting was held in view of the recent upsurge in cases in some countries like China, Japan, Brazil and the United States in the presence of Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar, NITI Aayog member V K Paul to review the public health preparedness for containment and management of COVID-19 and progress of national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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