May 7, 2021 6:02:23 am
As the state officially crossed the 8,000 death-mark and added another 12,545 Covid-19 cases, the Gujarat government on Thursday revised the policy for hospital admission following the Supreme Court directive, now allowing all patients — either confirmed patients or those suspected to have got infected— access to treatment, drugs and oxygen, irrespective of their place of residence and how they reach the hospital.
In a health department order of May 6, issued by Under Secretary, Health, SN Gosai in exercise of powers under the Gujarat Epidemic Diseases, Covid-19 Regulations, 2020 and taking into account Supreme Court directions dated April 30 where the latter has directed to have a uniform policy throughout the state for admission of
Covid-19 patients in hospital, the state government in its order issued four key directions with respect to hospital patients.
The order notes that a positive Covid-19 test report will not be required for admission and “suspected patients with symptoms should be entertained and given treatment.” It also states that all patients — whether arriving in an ambulance or a private vehicle — are to be admitted in the hospitals and place of residence in a particular city or state will not be a reason for denial of admission to patients. The state’s order also notes that “drugs and oxygen to be made available to all the needy patients.”
Meanwhile, in a core committee meeting at the state-level, chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, it was decided that MLAs in the state will have to allocate minimum Rs 50 lakh from their MLA Local Area Development (LAD) grant for purchase of Covid-19 control and prevention-related equipment and paraphernalia, including 10-litre oxygen concentrator, high flow oxygen therapy device, BiPAP machine, multipara monitor, syringe infusion pumps, liquid oxygen storage tanks of up to 6,000 litre capacity, and pressure swing absorption oxygen generation unit of 250 and 500 litre capacities.
The committee also decided that the MLAs can use their full LAD grant for the similar purpose for the year 2021-22 as per requirement.
The development comes two days after 66 MLAs — 65 from Congress and independent MLA from Vadgam Jignesh Mevani — had moved the Gujarat High Court seeking the court’s direction that they be permitted to utilise the entire MLA LAD grant of Rs 1.5 crore for the financial year of 2021-22 for the purchase of equipment for Covid-19 treatment in their respective constituencies, as against the state-permitted only Rs 25 lakh until then. Combined, the 66 MLAs had submitted that they want to utilise Rs 99 crore worth of MLA LAD grants for making the ground-level health infrastructure robust, specifically targeted towards Covid-19 requirements.
The core committee also decided that the grant can be utilised for enhancing infrastructure at district hospitals, primary and community health centres as well as at charitable trust-run hospitals.
Along with Rupani, the meeting also saw the presence of Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Energy Minister Saurabh Patel, Law Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja along with senior bureaucrats chief secretary Anil Mukim, additional chief secretaries Pankaj Kumar, Rajiv Kumar Gupta, MK Das and principal secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi.
Ahmedabad city has seen a slowdown in cases — reporting 3,884 new cases and 16 deaths — although the city continues to shoulder over 30 per cent of the state’s new caseload. Vacant oxygen and ICU beds continue to be sparse, with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation declaring that of the nearly 9,700 oxygen and ICU beds across 422 health facilities in the city, only about six per cent were vacant as of Thursday evening.
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