'Reiterated need to focus on 5 pillars': Dr Harsh Vardhan speaks to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, reassures him of adequate supply of medical oxygen
PTI Photo

Amid galloping COVID-19 cases across the country, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday reviewed availability of oxygen, ventilators, manpower, medicines, hospital beds with Maharashtra and 10 other states/UT.

Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and reassured him of adequate and uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen and all possible support related to healthcare infrastructure, medicines, and therapeutics.

In a tweet, Vardhan said additional 1,121 ventilators are being rushed to the state considering the surge in coronavirus cases.

"Spoke to #Maharashtra CM Sh Uddhav Thackeray Ji. Reassured @OfficeofUT of adequate & uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen & all possible support w.r.t healthcare infra, medicines & therapeutics. Additional 1,121 ventilators are also being rushed to them given the surge in cases," Vardhan tweeted.

"Discussed with @OfficeofUT regarding further stringent actions to be taken for containment, surveillance & treatment of #COVID19 cases. Reiterated the need to focus on the 5 pillars "Test, Track, Treat, Covid Appropriate Behaviour and Vaccination" to tide over the emergent health crisis," he said in another tweet.

Taking note of the active surge in cases witnessed since last February in which most states have now crossed their highest tally, Dr Harsh Vardhan exhorted the States to plan in advance and increase COVID hospitals, oxygenated beds and other relevant infrastructure to deal with any further surge in cases. He requested the States to give special focus on the prominent 5-6 cities in their administration, map medical colleges to either these cities or adjoining 2-3 districts.

The States were asked to seek out positive cases with the onset of early symptoms so that prompt and effective treatment checks the deterioration of health in the diseased. Large containment zones for achieving community quarantine were also suggested as a strategy.

He reminded the States to send the clinical and epidemiological pictures to assess genomic mutants of the pathogen to the coordinating Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG) nodal officer and attempt to correlate the public health scenario with the clinical picture.

Minister’s interaction came on a day when the widening gap between Daily New Cases and Daily New Recoveries reflects that the infection is spreading at a much faster rate than recoveries with consistently growing active cases. All the 11 States/UTs have already crossed their highest reported daily case threshold with some districts like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Lucknow, Raipur, Ahmedabad and Aurangabad also following the same pattern.

“India is currently reporting the sharpest growth rate of 7.6% in new COVID cases, which is 1.3 times higher than case growth rate of 5.5% reported in June 2020. This is leading to an alarming rise in daily number of Active Cases, which currently stand at 16,79,000. There is also a sharp growth of 10.2% in the number of deaths,’’ said the minister. Emphasizing that there is no shortage of vaccine, he strongly pushed for the further ramping up of vaccination exercise.

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