Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday directed district health officials to emphasize institutional quarantine instead of home quarantine for COVID-19 positive patients. "In many places, COVID-19 positive patients are not taking home isolation seriously, so they should be institutionally quarantined," Tope said.
While increasing the number of beds at government hospitals across the state, Tope said they should also focus on the management of medical oxygen and the anti-viral durg Remdesivir.
Tope added that each private hospital in the state with more than 50 beds should set up an oxygen generation plant to ensure availability of this life-saving gas for treatment of patients. "All private hospitals with more than 50 beds should set up an oxygen generation plant. These hospitals will no longer rely on the state government for the supply of medical oxygen, which can be provided to the COVID-19 patients," he said.
Hospitals with less than 50 beds have been asked to procure oxygen concentrators, which can increase the supply of oxygen to patients, the minister said. "The technology of oxygen concentrators involves collection and purification of air up to 95 to 98 percent before it is administered to patients. It is viable and affordable. It will reduce the load on the state infrastructure over procuring liquid medical oxygen from other states and supplying it to hospitals," he added. Tope further asked the hospitals to ensure that medical oxygen is not wasted or overused.
Tope said that there is a need to increase contact tracing and to make sure that patients get timely admission into the hospitals. He added that emphasis should be on RT-PCR tests, and the turn-around time for COVID tests should not be more than 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 61,695 new COVID-19 cases. Besides, 349 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in the day, taking the death toll to 59,153. The total number of active cases in Maharashtra is 6,20,060.