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'CMOHs can start new Covid wards, augment infra sans state approval'

Kolkata: The state government empowered chief medical officers, Health (CMOHs) and principals of medical colleges in districts to start new Covid wards, hospitals and safe homes and add beds in existing health facilities without any separate approval from the state headquarters.

To decide in this regard the concerned CMOHs or principal of any medical college have to take the decision in consultation with respective district magistrates.

Similarly, for medical colleges in Kolkata new Covid wards or increasing the number of beds can be done by respective principals under intimation to the Swasthya Bhawan. The move has been taken to increase the number of beds quickly as cases are increasing rapidly. Issuing an order in this connection the state government has stated that "steps have already been taken to either start new Covid wards at government facilities or augment beds at existing Covid wards at government facilities. However, given the trend of rising Covid cases, there is an urgent need to further augment Covid hospitals and beds to accommodate demands for Covid beds in ensuing weeks, and it is felt that existing procedures must be further simplified in this regard". Information about the initiatives to develop facilities to increase the number of beds have to be sent to the director of medical education or director of Health services and respective branches in the Health department.

It has been further stated that the order shall be implemented immediately and it will remain in place for the next three months.

Meanwhile, the state Health secretary wrote to the director general of police and Commissioner of the Kolkata Police stating that "the crowds at vaccination centres are bulging everyday and the peaceful ambience is turning tense. Even untoward incidents began to be reported from Kolkata and from the districts as well. Under the circumstances, I solicit intervention of your good offices to pass suitable instructions to your field officers." The state Health department also advised KMC and DMs or CMOHs to liaison with their police counterparts in this regard. It has been further stated in the letter that "the inclination of the large number of people to get themselves vaccinated is an encouraging development. It will take some time to reach a stage when supply can match steps with demand".

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