Photo Credits: Hanif Sindhi
The Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Monday urged the states and Union Territories to keep an eye on the active Covid cases as the situation is still “dynamic and can change at any time”.
The health secretary, in a letter to states and UTs, mentioned that while the country is at present witnessing a hospitalisation rate of 5-10%, as against 20-23% during the first few months of the second wave, the states and UTs must not be complacent as the situation is “evolving” and therefore the “need for hospitalisation may also change rapidly”.
The health secretary also directed the states and UTs to keep a watch on oxygen and ICU beds, and ventilator support besides monitoring the requirement of healthcare workers and their availability on a daily basis.
He added that the current rise in cases appears to be driven by Variant of Concern (VoC) Omicron and the continued presence of another VoC Delta in large geographies across the country.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya held a virtual review meeting with health ministers and officials of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Dadra and Nagra Haveli and Daman and Diu, and reiterated the need to up the vaccination drive.
Reiterating that the Centre is dedicated to supporting states in containing Covid, Dr Mandaviya said the Centre has provided support under ECRP-II for strengthening the health infrastructure across the country.
“The states must make robust preparation in terms of physical infrastructure and efficiently utilize the approved funds under ECRP-II. I request the State Health Ministers to review the implementation of physical activities under ECRP-II. They should also upload the operational status of infrastructure like beds, PSA plants, oxygen equipment on the national portal,” the Ministry stated in a press release.
The Union Health Minister also advised the States to increase vaccination of all eligible populations, especially in low vaccination coverage areas/districts. He said, “vaccination against Covid results in low hospitalisation and severity, as is seen globally”.
He also emphasised the administration of ‘precaution dose’ for the identified categories and urged the States to ensure full coverage of the vulnerable population.