Industry leaders write to PM, suggest measures to tackle second wave of Covid

Mumbai: Amid the rise in infections in the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, multiple apex bodies of medical and commercial fraternities have come together for the first time to collectively plan and evolve effective measures to assist the government of India in overcoming the ongoing crisis.

Associations like Indian Medical Association (IMA), Association of Health Care Providers - India (AHPI), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) have formed the 'National Working Group on Covid-19' to analyse the on-ground situation and provide a solution to the government.

Earlier on April 23 (Friday), the working group has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi providing suggestions to augment the manpower and medical infrastructure throughout the country.

"The entire situation across the country is very grim and will remain like this for the next few months, we have written to the government to give them a solution so that we can get out this situation at the earliest," Dr Alexander Thomas, president, AHPI, told FPJ.

In the letter, the body suggested that every year 1.7 lakh aspirants sit for the NEET exams and the students who don't get selected should be given a chance to work at Covid-19 hospitals and would be given an incentive in return.

The body also suggested that medical interns who opt to work for one year in Covid-19 hospitals or ICU section should be given grace marks for doing so.

The letter also highlighted a Haryana model, where final-year nurses and technicians wanting to work in Covid-19 ICUs were deployed at various hospitals in exchange for a stipend. The body suggested that this model could be implemented in all other states of the country.

"The cases are rising steadily and there is a dearth of manpower, if we increase beds but we don't have adequate medical staffers, then the problem remains the same," Thomas said.

Furthermore, he mentioned that there are 75,000-95,000 ICU beds that are available in the country right now while the pandemic is yet to reach its peak and at this moment there is a requirement of more than three lakh nurses and two lakh junior doctors across the country.

"We understand the importance of the situation and this is for the first time that all the apex bodies have come together, we are hopeful that the government would listen to us as we are all in this together," said Thomas.

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