covid: Covid-19: Monitor patients in home isolation, set up makeshift hospitals, Centre tells states | India News

NEW DELHI: In the wake of increasing Covid-19 cases in India, the Union health ministry on Saturday advised the state governments to initiate the process of setting up makeshift hospitals and constitute special teams to monitor patients in home isolation.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to chief secretaries of all states/UTs on measures to deal with a possible surge in Covid cases.
He asked all states to operationalize control rooms at the district/sub-district level and revisit the Covid dedicated health infrastructure.
“It is imperative to re-emphasise the significance of timely and swift upgradation of health infrastructure in all states/UTs, as highlighted in my previous letters, as well as multiple VCs held by the Centre with states. This becomes all the more important since with the sudden increase in cases, we may start seeing a stressed health infrastructure,” Bhushan said in his letter.
The ministry noted that the states have already been advised to ensure health system preparedness by utilising the existing ECRP-II budget under the different components (for creation of additional isolation beds & field hospitals, ICU beds, pediatric excellence centers, availability of oxygen, ambulances, drugs & diagnostics, human resources and teleconsultation platforms) at the earliest.
Here’s what the Centre told the states in the advisory-
* To address a potential surge in cases, with a view to ensuring preparedness states are advised to initiate the creation of field/ makeshift hospitals to augment the availability of health infrastructure. This can be done with coordination with DRDO & CSIR as well as the private sector, corporations, NGOs, etc. This will aid the process of rapid creation of field hospitals or temporary hospital set-ups.
* States may also consider leveraging hotel rooms and other accommodations linked with the Covid dedicated hospitals in the government and private sector to cater to patients having mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19, as was also done in some states during the earlier surge in cases.
* A large number of positive cases may be eligible for home isolation. These cases would require effective follow up and a clearly defined mechanism for prompt shifting to a health facility in case of deterioration in their health situation.
* It is particular1y important that all states should monitor their home isolation protocol and its actual implementation at the field level.
* Special teams be constituted to monitor all home isolation cases, call centers/control rooms must aid outbound calling for monitoring such patients and ensuring that all such cases can be shifted to an appropriate health facility through dedicated ambulances.
* All states must ensure that control rooms at district level or sub district/ward level are made functional.
* A clearly defined mechanism to access testing, ambulance and hospital beds need to be put in place and communicated to the public at large.
* A mechanism wherein citizens can call and get an ambulance and a bed in a transparent manner needs to be operationalised.
* The call centers, district or state level dashboards/portals can play an important role in organizing the same.
* States are also requested to ensure that the existing Coviddedicated health infrastructure is revisited and necessary action to ensure its operational readiness be taken.
* A clear focus on rural areas and pediatric cases must also be maintained.
* States need to regularly review the availability of required logistics, oxygen availability and buffer stock of drugs across all health facilities in the state.
* Immediate action to monitor the availability of HR and the orientation on the clinical management protocol through the state center of excellence need to be taken up.
* To contain the spread of infection, the implementation of containment activities at the field level is essential.
* Need for effective contact tracing coupled with the quarantine of contacts including facility quarantine for high risk and comorbid contacts shall be taken up.
* The sufficient number of quarantine facilities shall accordingly be planned across the state.
* The health ministry will continue to provide requisite support to the states/UTs in the ongoing and collective efforts against Covid-19.

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