The central health team, led by joint secretary Lav Agarwal, that began a tour of Covid-19 hotspot states with Gujarat, visited two micro-containment zones in Ahmedabad, Covid-19 control rooms, one private and one government Covid hospitals, and held meetings with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his deputy and health minister Nitin Patel and other officials on Friday.
The team that started its round at around 9:30 am, according to health commissioner Jaiprakash Shivahare, who was accompanying the team, visited a containment zone in Satellite area and several Dhanvantari raths in the northeast zone of Gota and Ghatlodia and central zone area of Shahpur.
The Dhanvantri raths, are vans equipped with a doctor, paramedical staff and a pharmacist, launched with an aim to take care of mild and moderate Covid-19 cases along with early detection and medical assistance to comorbid patients. Stationed for two hours at one location several such vans have been covering different parts across the city.
Om Prakash Machra, deputy commissioner of health, said, “The team appreciated this initiative because I don’t think such a large scale operation has been done anywhere else.”
The team also visited another micro-containment zone near Shahibaug and took a tour of the emergency services Control rooms of 104, 108 and 1100 operating in Kathwada area.
“The idea was to see the coordination in reporting of cases, surveillance, follow-ups post discharge and telemedicine facilities,” said Shivahare.
According to one AMC official, this was pertinent as the 104 helpline, which earlier used to see a response time of 24 hours or more, now has seen a turnaround with an average of 90 minutes as the response time.
It also surveyed the infrastructure and the overall functioning of Gujarat Cancer Research Institute (GCRI) building which is also a Covid hospital. The team was also taken to HCG Hospital, which was among one of the first private health facilities to sign a MoU with AMC for Covid-19 treatment.
Birsingh Chaudhari, CEO at the hospital, said, “They interacted with our doctors. Since we treat both Covid-19 and non-Covid patients despite having a single building, I believe that is why the team was brought here. They also interacted with two patients over video call who are in the ICU on oxygen.”
Machra said, “We had decided that the team must visit the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, which is a government hospital, so we wanted to showcase our public private partnership with a visit to a private health facility as well. This helped them understand how such partnerships work and they did mull that this is something that can be replicated elsewhere.”
The visit to the hospital was then followed by a meeting at the Riverfront House with the AMC officials including zonal deputy municipal commissioners. This was the final stop in Ahmedabad.
According to an AMC official, there was some disagreement between the team and AMC officials when the Covid-19 related data was provided by two senior officials — Officer on Special Duty (OSD), North West zone, C R Kharsan and medical officer of health Dr Bhavin Solanki —as one data was as per June 1 and the other May 28.
Clarifying on this, Machra said, “It was blown out of proportion, there was no disagreement. It was something minor where one official was referring to statistics as a parameter of say per 1,000 and another was referring to it as per 10,000. To this, the team had suggested that let there be a single uniform parameter.”
The meeting with Rupani was at his official bungalow team with the state bureaucrats and political heads, including health minister Patel. Rupani then took him on a virtual tour of the Ahmedabad civil hospital that has been connected to the CM Dashboard. Finally the team held a meeting with the expert committee of nine doctors — the panel of senior doctors and public health experts constituted to decide on short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies for tackling Covid-19. The committee includes health principal secretary Jayanti Ravi as its convenor.
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