Hold mock drills at health facilities: Govt to states as Covid cases rise
To ensure the readiness of the COVID-19 health facilities to meet the increase in clinical care needs due to any spurt in cases, the Union health ministry has asked the states and Union territories to hold mock drills at all health facilities on Tuesday.
In view of a surge in the Covid trajectory in many countries, it is necessary that the requisite public health measures are put in place in all the states to meet any exigencies, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to the states on Saturday.
The preparedness of the Covid health facilities is crucial to ensure that all the districts are in a state of readiness to meet the increase in clinical care needs due to any spurt in cases, Bhushan said.
“It has therefore been decided to hold mock drill at all health facilities (including identified COVID dedicated health facilities) across the country on Tuesday, 27th December,” he said in the letter.
“The objective of this exercise is to ensure operational readiness of these health facilities for management of COVID-19,” the health secretary added.
The focus during the exercise shall be on parameters such as geographically representative availability of health facilities (covering all districts), bed capacities — isolation beds, oxygen-supported isolation beds, ICU beds and ventilator-supported beds — and an optimal availability of doctors, nurses, paramedics, AYUSH doctors and other frontline workers, such as ASHA workers and anganwadi workers.
It will also focus on the human resource capacity in terms of the number of healthcare professionals trained in Covid management, healthcare professionals trained in the ventilatory management protocol for severe cases, healthcare workers trained in the operation of PSA plants etc. and the availability of Advanced and Basic Life Support (ALS/BLS) ambulances, other ambulances (under the PPP mode or with NGOs) and the availability of a functional ambulance call centre.
It will also focus on the number and capacities of the Covid-testing laboratories, availability of RT-PCR and RAT kits, availability of testing equipment and reagents and availability of essential drugs, ventilators, BIPAP, SPO systems, PPE kits, N-95 masks, medical oxygen — oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, PSA plants, liquid medical oxygen storage tanks, the medical gas pipeline system etc.
The exercise will also focus on the availability of telemedicine services.
“The Mock Drill may be done under the overall guidance of respective district collectors/district magistrates in close consultation with officers of the Health Department of the state and UT,” the letter said.
“It is expected the District Surveillance Officer (DSO) working in coordination with CMHOS under IDSP shall upload facility wise data for all districts positively by evening of Tuesday, December 27,” it added.
Bhushan further said the follow-up on any gap assessment shall be required to be undertaken by the additional chief secretary, the principal secretary, the secretary (health) or the MD-NHM of the states, who will also be required to monitor the exercise personally under the overall guidance of the health ministers of the respective states.
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