June 15, 2021 4:41:19 am
Gujarat is preparing to deal with “double the intensity” of Covid-19 during a possible third wave of the pandemic, which is likely in October-November, in comparison to the second wave, said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday, adding that revising Covid death figures in the state in the lines of Bihar and Mahar-ashtra was “out of question”.
The CM was announcing the state government’s preparedness for the possible third wave at a press conference, where Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Chief Secretary Anil Mukim, Chief Principal Secretary to the CM K Kailashnathan, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Manoj Aggarwal and Health Commissioner Jaiprakash Shivhare were present.
“The number of cases has gone down but coronavirus has not gone completely… Experts across the world and in our country have warned of a possible third wave of Covid-19… the state government has formed a wholesome strategy to preempt its impact and to ensure that minimum people are affected by it,” said an official release quoting Rupani.
During his interaction with media persons, Rupani said, “We have three months to prepare.” In reply to a question if the government was considering to revise the Covid death figures on the lines of governments of Bihar and Maharashtra, Rupani said, “I don’t know what happened there. Here, it is out of question.”
Rupani also stated that considering the problems faced by the people during the second wave, the government was planning to start a Command and Control System. “During the second wave, people faced problem in knowing which hospital has a vacant bed… A Command and Control System will be set up where anyone can get real time update of all the (Covid) hospitals,” Rupani said.
Nitin Patel added that a district level system will also be set up to know the availability of beds. “A district level system attached with the (state level) CM dashboard will be ready so that, relatives of the patient can check availability of beds online and choose according to their requirement…”
Making a presentation on the preparedness, Health Commissioner Shivhare said that maximum vaccination, Covid-appropriate behavior, study of virus mutations and behavior of the virus in other states and countries are key to mitigating the impact of a possible third wave.
The Deputy CM said that the action plan was been devised by the Core Group of the state government after consulting experts, and also considering the deficiencies during the first and second wave. He said that Gujarat has administered more than two crore doses of Covid vaccine to people and has become the top state in terms of vaccination.
Rupani said that the government is providing vaccine does to around 3 lakh people daily, adding that around three crore more people would be administered vaccine in the next three months. He, however, added that the pace would depend on the availability of vaccines.
As per the planning, the preparation for the third wave is being done to deal with maximum of 25,000 daily cases and 2,50,000 active cases against the corresponding figures of 14,605 maximum daily cases and maximum 1,48,000 active cases in the second wave.
Against 1,800 Covid hospitals during the second wave, the government plans to have 2,400 hospitals during the third wave. It is also planning to increase the oxygen beds and ICU beds from 61,000 and 15,000 to 1,10,000 and 30,000 respectively. Similarly, it is planning to increase ventilators from 7,000 to 15,000.
The plan includes doubling of beds for children from 2,000 to 4,000 in government hospitals with creation of child-friendly wards having facilities for parents/guardians, walls painted with cartoons, toys, games, puzzles, comics, books and TV with cartoon channels.
To ramp up human resources, the government will deploy 4,000 specialist doctors, 10,000 MBBS/intern doctors, 22,000 nurses, 15,000 Class IV staff and 10,000 attendants. For this, it is planning to fill all vacant posts while also approving additional posts on contract basis.
Shivhare said that the action plan will have provisions to increase the oxygen supply up to 1,800 metric tonne against the peak usage of 1,150 metric tonne during the second wave.
The DyCM said that the state government is planning to become self sufficient in supply of oxygen for medical purpose. Adding that the demand for oxygen had shot up unexpectedly during the second wave, Patel said, “Fortunately not a single incident happened where a patient died due to lack of oxygen.”
The government is also planning to increase the total tests per day from 1,75,000 during the second wave to 2,50,000. Rupani said that planning is being done in such a manner that people will get reports of their RT-PCR tests within 24 hours. The number of Dhanvantari Raths and Sanjeevani Raths are also planned to be doubled.
The government is also planning to have sufficient stock of drugs such as remdesivir, amphoterecin B, tocilizumab, favipiravir, etc., with training to health staff to ensure its rational use.
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