Maharashtra govt has learned a major lesson from 2nd wave: Tope

Mumbai: Even though the state faces major challenges in the procurement of oxygen, Remdesivir vials and meeting the rising demands for beds and ventilators, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the government has learned major lessons from the second wave of corona. Therefore, he announced that the state government will have to start preparations for the third wave from today itself. The government is laying emphasis on strengthening health infrastructure, optimum use of existing facilities and streamlining the procurement of medical equipment, oxygen and medicines

Tope’s statement came on a day when 66,358 new Covid-19 cases and a record 895 deaths were reported. The state has 6,72,434 active cases which are expected to increase to 11 lakh by May 11.

“The state has over 5 crore people who are in the age group of 18-44. For vaccination, the state needs 12 crore vaccines which will cost over Rs 7,500 crore. The state will be able to carry out vaccination from May 1 only after it receives the required stock. The citizens have been urged not to rush to the vaccination centres,’’ said Tope. He added the government proposes to import vaccines in addition to procurement from Serum India Institute and Bharat Biotech.

Tope said the state government faces a lot of constraints in the procurement of oxygen. ‘’The state has fixed a standardized procedure (SOP) for oxygen consumption, according to which patients are urged to be given oxygen. At the same time, the hospitals have given instructions to appoint oxygen nurses as per the Nandurbar pattern,’’ he noted. According to him, a committee of 15 IAS officers has been formed to manage oxygen supply in the state.

He informed that oxygen is produced at six places in the state. ‘’If a hospital is made available directly at this location, the time taken for its transportation can be saved. For this, the process of setting up oxygen hospitals is underway in some places,’’ he added.

He further said, ‘’ The first batch of 250 oxygen concentrators were airlifted from Singapore. Considering the oxygen crisis in Maharashtra these machines have been provided to us. I would like to thank the Temasek Foundation Singapore, All Cargo Pvt, Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, International Association of Human Values (IAHV) for the great help and their Humanitarian approach towards Maharashtra in the time of emergency.’’

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