Urging states to closely monitor cases under home isolation and in hospitals, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked them to ramp up hospital infrastructure as well as human resource to meet any surge in hospitalisation.
The Centre has also suggested states to utilise final year MBBS students, junior residents, nursing students and retired professionals to ensure there is no dearth of health workers.
During the second surge of Covid cases in the country, the percentage of active cases that needed hospital care were in the range of 20-23%, Bhushan said in a letter to states and Union Territories.
“In the present surge, 5-10% of active cases have needed hospitalisation so far. The situation is dynamic and evolving, therefore, the need for hospitalisation may also change rapidly,” Bhushan said in the letter.
India has recorded 28 times increase in daily Covid-19 cases over the last 14 days. On Sunday, nearly 1.8 lakh daily cases were recorded from across the country, whereas daily positivity rose to nearly 13.3%. Sources indicate cases in major metro cities are likely to peak in January itself as many cities are reporting a doubling time of less than two days.
Bhushan directed states to keep a watch on oxygen and ICU beds, and ventilator support besides monitoring the requirement of healthcare workers and their availability on a daily basis. He added that the current rise in cases appears to be driven by variant of concern (VOC) Omicron and the continued presence of another VoC Delta in large geographies across the country.
Meanwhile, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya also reviewed the public health preparedness for Covid-19 in a high-level meeting with health ministers of states and UTs. Mandaviya reiterated the importance of test, track, treat, vaccinate and adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour. Health ministers and officials of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Dadra and Nagra Haveli as well as Daman and Diu participated in the meeting.
The Centre advised states to undertake regular review of health infrastructure strengthening, establish tele-consultation hubs in every district and focus on widespread awareness regarding available infrastructure and healthcare services.
All states and UTs are advised to keep a daily watch on the situation of the total number of active cases, cases under home isolation, the number of hospitalised cases, cases on oxygen beds, ICU beds and on ventilatory support, Bhushan said. “Based on this monitoring, the requirement of healthcare workers and their availability health facility wise must also be reviewed daily as was done during the second surge,” Bhushan said in the letter.
Mandaviya urged the states to make robust preparation in terms of physical infrastructure and efficiently utilise the approved funds under the second emergency Covid relief packageand asked the state health ministers to review the implementation of physical activities.