New Delhi (NVI): Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today chaired a high-level meeting with officials of ten AIIMS, PGIMER Chandigarh and JIPMER Puducherry to review COVID clinical management efforts.
During the meeting, Vardhan said, “In the shortest possible time, we ramped up testing from 1 lab to 2467 labs today with a capacity of more than 15 lakh tests per day, set up hospital infrastructure including COVID care Centres, COVID hospitals with oxygen beds and ventilator bed.
“More than 12,000 quarantine centres were established. We also overcame the need for PPE kits, N95 masks. This helped to tide over the pandemic last year,” he added.
Detailing the achievements, the Minister stated that we have crossed 13 crore vaccinations, and we are the fastest globally to vaccinate.
“The fatality rate of 1.18% is one of the lowest in the word and is continuously dipping. The present indicators tell us about the significant control we have still have on the emerging situation,” he added.
The minister also asked them to explore avenues to monitor patients who may need not need hospitalization through telephonic counseling to re-assure them out of their helplessness.
“AIIMS have a special responsibility towards providing quality healthcare- you have to ensure that all the hospital facilities are functional. The present capacities can be augmented by repurposing non-COVID infrastructure to covid facilities, such that non-COVID healthcare is not unduly affected,” he said.
Vardhan observed that all the institutes combined have increased 879 general beds and 219 ICU beds.
In this regard, he also spoke of the recent attempt by DRDO to open a 500-bed facility in Delhi and the Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research–Central Building Research Institute (CSIR–CBRI)’s attempts to make temporary but durable hospital blocks at the Safdarjung Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College to house more patients.
He informed that the AIIMS National Institute of Cancer (NIC), Jhajjar had added 100 beds to its COVID Block while approximately 80 beds were added at JPNATC, AIIMS New Delhi at his request.
Speaking on the shortage in hands at the hospitals, he said, “We have to develop our manpower and human resources. Those who are in other departments and units can be used for COVID care with building their skills and capacities with training for a very short duration. Everyone is looking at AIIMs for inspiration and your guidance and support. People respect AIIMS for their professional expertise.”