Centre assures fresh supply of ventilators to worst-hit COVID states

at 4:49 pm

New Delhi (NVI): In view of increasing cases of COVID-19, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today assured a fresh supply of the lifesaving machines to worst-hit states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

During a review meeting with 11 states and union territories, Vardhan informed that 1,121 ventilators are to be given to Maharashtra, 1,700 to Uttar Pradesh, 1,500 to Jharkhand, 1,600 to Gujarat, 152 to Madhya Pradesh and 230 to Chhattisgarh.

According to health ministry, Harsh Vardhan exhorted the states to plan in advance and increase COVID hospitals, oxygenated beds and other relevant infrastructure to deal with any further surge in cases.

“He requested the states to give special focus on the prominent 5-6 cities in their administration, map medical colleges to either these cities or adjoining 2-3 districts,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Union Health Minister presented a snapshot of the unprecedented rise in new cases at the outset. He noted that India reported its highest single day spike on April 12, 2021 which was also the highest number of daily new cases reported in the world. India contributed 22.8% of the total cases reported worldwide on April 12, 2021.

“India is currently reporting the sharpest growth rate of 7.6% in new COVID cases, which is 1.3 times higher than case growth rate of 5.5% reported in June 2020. This is leading to an alarming rise in daily number of Active Cases, which currently stand at 16,79,000. There is also a sharp growth of 10.2% in the number of deaths. The widening gap between daily new cases and daily new recoveries reflects that the infection is spreading at a much faster rate than recoveries with consistently growing active cases,” he said.

Vardhan also detailed the corresponding rise in Health Infrastructure to cope with the crisis. He said, “From just 1 lab at the start of the Pandemic, we now have 2,463 labs that have a combined daily testing capacity of 15 lakhs.”

He said that 14,95,397 tests conducted in the last 24 hours have increased the total tests conducted to 26,88,06,123. The three-tier health infrastructure to treat COVID according to severity now includes 2,084 dedicated COVID hospitals (of which 89 are under the Centre and the rest 1995 with States), 4043 Dedicated COVID Health Centres and 12,673 COVID Care Centres. They have 18,52,265 beds in total including the 4,68,974 beds in the Dedicated COVID Hospitals.

Detailing the number of beneficiaries vaccinated in each targeted segment of the population, Vardhan also addressed the perceived issue of vaccine shortage.

The Total Consumption of vaccines so far (wastage included) has been approximately 12 crore 57 lakh 18 thousand doses against the 14 crore 15 lakh doses provided by the Centre to the States. About 1 crore 58 lakh doses are still available with the States while another 1 crore and 16 lakh 84 thousand are in pipeline, to be delivered by next week,” he said.

“Stocks of every small state are replenished after 7 days. For big states, the time period is 4 days,” he added.

Meanwhile, the state health ministers shared a brief snapshot of the actions taken for containment, surveillance and treatment of the COVID positive cases along with best practices of their States.

The issues of augmenting supply of oxygen cylinders; stepping up supply of Remdesivir in hospitals; adding to the ventilator stock; and enhanced supply of vaccine doses were raised by almost all the States and UTs.

Many of them raised the issue of dovetailing the Medical Oxygen supply lines and the capping of prices of essential drugs like Remdesivir which has been sold in the black market at exorbitant prices.