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As Covid Surge in China Raises Concerns, Centre Issues Checklist for States

The mock drill, which will take place on Tuesday, will focus on bed availability, human resources, logistics, and the medical oxygen supply chain

Ayushi Sikarwar
Medical crew holding a mock drill to ensure proper management amid global rise in Covid-19 Cases (File Image)

Concerns have grown across India as a result of the significant Covid-19 spike in neighboring China, prompting the Centre to order states to conduct mock drills at medical facilities to ensure swift response to an increase in coronavirus infections, if necessary.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated in a letter to all states and Union Territories on Saturday that it is essential that all states and Union Territories have the required health measures in place to handle any emergency.

The simulated drill, scheduled for Tuesday, will concentrate on the availability of beds, human resources, logistics, and the medical oxygen supply chain.

"It has therefore been decided to hold the mock drill at all health facilities (including identified COVID-dedicated health facilities) across the country on Tuesday, 27th December 2022", the ministry added.

"Geographically representative availability of health facilities -- covering all districts. Bed capacities -- Isolation beds, oxygen-supported isolation beds, ICU beds, and ventilator-supported beds", it noted.

The mock exercise would also concentrate on the personnel needed, such as physicians, nurses, and paramedics, to handle any increase in Covid patients. During the exercise, a sufficient number of AYUSH practitioners and front-line employees, such as Anganwadi workers, would also be evaluated.

The exercise would also determine whether these medical professionals have the necessary training to manage Covid patients and medical oxygen supplies.

The practice will also work to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities by ensuring that RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Kits are readily available.

A major focus of this exercise is medical oxygen, whose shortage during the initial waves of Covid had left thousands gasping for air.

"Medical oxygen: Oxygen Concentrators, Oxygen Cylinders, PSA Plants. Liquid Medical Oxygen Storage Tanks, Medical Gas Pipeline Systems, etc", the ministry said in the letter.

The health system was at its breaking point as a result of the prior Covid outbreaks, especially the second wave, which produced heart-breaking images of patients struggling to breathe because of a lack of medical oxygen and patients’ families frantically searching for hospital beds.

The center has previously declared that the RT-PCR test is now required for visitors arriving from China and five other nations.

Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister of Health, has stated that in order to prevent future surges, the federal government and the states must cooperate "tandem" and with a "collaborative attitude."

Yesterday, 200 new Covid cases were reported across the nation.

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