Centre estimates progressive Covid 19 cases to touch 17 lakh by mid-October in Maharashtra

The Centre has asked the Maharashtra Government to further augment the number of oxygen, ventilator and ICU beds for the treatment of the burgeoning number of Covid-19 patients in the state. According to an advisory issued by the Union Ministry of Health, the number of progressive Covid cases will reach 17 lakh by mid-October, from the current 12.63 lakh.The number of patients in Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia and Gadchiroli in the Vidarbha region are likely to double while Wardha, Akola, Hingoli and Jalna districts too are expected to see a substantial increase in the number of patients. The health ministry’s advisory is crucial, as every day, 20,000-24,000 cases are being reported in the state. The ministry is concerned about the rising burden of cases in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Sangli and Kolhapur.As on date, hospitals in Maharashtra have 56,356 oxygen beds, 18,785 ICU beds and 9,398 ventilators. ‘‘Considering the increasing number of corona patients, the health ministry has asked the state government to add another 7,355 beds. The ministry has also insisted that the state must step up daily testing, which are currently 383 per million.

On September 22, 1.05 lakh tests were conducted. Although the state government is rigorously following the tracing, tracking, testing, quarantine and treatment model, the health ministry wants it to increase the pace,’’ said a senior official from the state public health department.The ministry expects that the city and district administration need to trace, track and test at least 20 contacts of Covid-19 patients. The ministry hopes that the state government, through the 'My Family, My Responsibility' will increase testing of contacts, in a serious bid to combat the virus.

The official told The Free Press Journal, ‘‘The health ministry has cautioned that for want of adequate beds, Covid 19 patients will suffer and this may increase the number of deaths. The progressive deaths have crossed the 33,000-mark, currently being 33,886 with a fatality rate of 2.68 per cent.’’ He said the health ministry has brought to the notice of the state government that despite an increase in the number of testing laboratories, the latter is not conducting Covid-19 tests at full capacity. ‘‘The ministry has asked the state government to pay more attention to this front,’’ he noted.

Tele-ICU, post-Covid treatment centres to be set upMaharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the state government would set up Tele-ICU and post-Covid-19 treatment centres in rural areas, for timely treatment.He assured the PM that the state government would step up testing to 1.5 lakh per day from the current 80,000, with the rise in testing facilities and laboratories.

Thackeray said the state government had made it mandatory for medical oxygen producers to supply 80 per cent of their output to the health sector and 20 per cent for industrial use. Tankers carrying oxygen have been accorded 'ambulance' status. A separate control room has been set up to keep an eye on the shortage of medical oxygen reported in various districts, and increase availability..

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