Increase beds, stock meds & O2 on emergency basis: State to pvt hosps

Increase beds, stock meds & O2 on emergency basis: State to pvt hosps

Kolkata: The state Health department on Friday directed all private hospitals to increase beds, stock medicines and oxygen on an emergency basis as the next one month may be a crucial time for the establishments in the wake of a whopping spike in daily Covid cases in Bengal.

Principal Secretary of the Health department Narayan Swaroop Nigam, during a video conference on Friday, asked all private hospitals to increase infrastructure as the Covid third wave seems imminent. Those hospitals conducting Covid tests have been asked to share data and mention the names of places where maximum Covid cases are being reported.

Incidentally, the Health department has already directed all the civic bodies, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the district administrations, to set up micro-containment zones in those areas where Omicron infected cases have been reported.

"The Health department apprehends a large-scale spread of Covid-19 and feels the onset of a third wave is imminent. The state government wants all private hospitals to scale up beds to the level of the first wave to accommodate the rising number of cases. Private hospitals have to stock essential medicines and other necessary support systems to manage and treat Covid-19 patients," a senior official of a private hospital said.

Hospitals with labs will share regular data with Swasthya Bhavan to help the government keep a tab on the spread of infection. Private hospitals have also been asked to start stockpiling Covaxin vials for vaccination of 15-18-year-olds.

All Chief Medical Officers of Health in the districts have been asked to ensure that the number of Covid tests per day goes up. Genome sequencing has been given utmost importance as Omicron positive cases are going up in the state. Swasthya Bhavan will also try to ensure that the frequency of sending samples (collected from private hospitals) from the School of Tropical Medicine to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in Kalyani is increased (currently it is sent twice a week).

To check further spread, the state Health department has also directed District Magistrates of all districts and various civic bodies to conduct proper surveillance on the foreign returnees and track them whether they are following Covid protocols. Foreign returnees have to mandatorily stay in isolation even if they test negative in the RT-PCR, the new guidelines issued by the department said. All the district administrations have been asked to keep an eye on the foreign returnees as the Omicron infected cases are on the rise.

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