Covid spikes in China have set off an alarm, so the center has asked states to hold mock drills at health facilities just in case.
On Tuesday, the mock drill will focus on beds, human resources, logistics, and medical oxygen supply chains.
The earlier spikes in Covid cases, particularly the second wave, had brought the health infrastructure to its knees, resulting in heart-rending scenes of patients struggling to breathe due to lack of medical oxygen and relatives running from pillar to post to find a hospital bed for their loved ones.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote yesterday to all states and union territories to make sure health measures are in place to deal with emergencies.
A mock drill will be held at all health facilities (including COVID-dedicated ones) across the country on Tuesday, 27th December 2022.
Mock drills will focus on these key areas, according to the Health Secretary.
Isolation and life support beds are high on the list.
This letter said: “Geographically representative health facilities — covering all districts. Bed capacities — ICU beds, oxygen-supported isolation beds, and ventilator-supported beds.”
We’ll also focus on the human resources needed to handle a spike in COVID cases, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics. It will also assess enough AYUSH practitioners and frontline workers, such as Anganwadi workers. These health workers would have to be tested and trained to handle COVID patients and medical oxygen.
By making RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Kits easy to get, the mock drill will also boost Covid testing capacity.
This mock drill focuses on medical oxygen, which left lakhs gasping during Covid’s earlier waves.
The letter stated, “Medical oxygen: Oxygen Cylinders, PSA Plants, Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks, Medical Gas Pipeline Systems, etc.”
RT-PCR tests are now mandatory for passengers flying in from five countries, including China.
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