Monday, August 2, 2021

Centre writes to Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh over reports submitted by Central Health teams regarding COVID19 testing, vaccination etc

Centre has written to Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh over reports submitted by Central Health teams regarding COVID19 testing and containment operation, hospital infrastructure and vaccination. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has asked the States to take suitable corrective measures.

In a letter to Maharashtra government, Mr Bhushan highlighted that the containment operations were found to be sub-optimal in Satara, Sangli and Aurangabad. The testing capacity in Satara, Bhandara, Palghar, Amravati, Jalna and Latur Districts is already overwhelmed, resulting in delay in reporting of test results. He said, occupancy rates of available hospital bed capacity are very high in Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Nandurbar. Medical oxygen supply was found to be an issue in Bhandara,  Osmanabad and Pune. Malfunctioning ventilators have also been reported by teams from Satara and Latur Districts. Acute shortage of healthcare workforce has been reported by the Central teams from Aurangabad, Nandurabar, Yawatmal, Satara, Palghar, Jalgoan, Jalna Districts. The Union Health Ministry had deployed 30 Central teams to 30 most affected Districts in Maharashtra.

In a letter to Punjab government, Mr Bhushan stressed on the need to enhance focus on contact tracing in Patiala and Ludhiana. He said, additional manpower must be deployed for contact tracing on a priority basis. Shortage of healthcare workforce has been reported from Patiala, SAS Nagar and Rupnagar also. The Central team to Patiala and Ludhiana have reported slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination among persons above 45 years with co-morbidities and those above 60 years.

In a letter to Chhattisgarh government, Mr Bhushan said, the central team from Raipur and Jashpur has reported lack of perimeter control in containment zones. He said, shortage of any RT-PCR testing facility in Korba, Durg and Balod Districts is leading to increased testing turnaround time. Hospital bed occupancy rates are high in Balod, Raipur, Durg and Mahasamund Districts. Mr Bhushan said, the District administration needs to ramp up hospital infrastructure and other logistic requirement to meet any demand arising due to surge in cases. Limited oxygen availability and oxygen wastage have also been reported by the team from Raipur.

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