May 20, 2021 12:21:06 am
An increased medical oxygen quota from the Centre, two new makeshift facilities and additional manpower have been added to Covid healthcare services in Himachal Pradesh, the state government said on Wednesday.
A makeshift Covid health centre with 200 oxygenated beds, 20-bed critical patients ward and a central oxygen supply has been made operational at the Radha Soami Complex at Khaliyar in Mandi, and a similar makeshift hospital at Paraur in Kangra having an initial bed capacity of 250 patients is expected to be ready within the next three days, officials said.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the central government has increased the state’s medical oxygen quota from 15 to 30 metric tonnes (MT), and he has sought a further increase of 10 MT. Himachal’s share of oxygen comes from an Inox oxygen plant at Barotiwala in Solan district which generates 125 MT oxygen daily and supplies it to various states.
Thakur said that to increase staff in health institutions, around 3,000 new employees have been recruited on an outsource basis. Additional ventilators have been provided to the state’s two premier hospitals – IGMC, Shimla and Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda.
The government has also decided to requisition private hospitals within and outside Himachal for providing Covid treatment at approved charges of Rs 800 per ordinary bed per day, Rs 4,000 per oxygenated bed per day and Rs 9,000 per ICU bed per day, the CM said.
Call 108 for Covid-related transport
A health department spokesperson said that all available ambulances have been mapped onto a single number and confirmed/suspected Covid patients at home can dial 108 to avail the ambulance service. He said that a total of 132 ambulances have been mapped onto the 108 call centre for Covid duties.
Besides the ambulances, district authorities have been asked to explore all available means of transportation such as vehicles of the Army, paramilitary, ESI, hydroelectric projects etc. to transport patients between homes and hospitals.
The spokesperson further said that several modified ambulances are being used since April last year for mobile Covid sampling in the far-flung and remote areas of the state. Now, sampling and testing services have also been started through mobile medical units called Jeevan Dhara mobile health and wellness centres which were set up in November, he said.
7 children orphaned, to get Rs 2.5k month
Seven children have been orphaned due to Covid and all of them are currently living with their relatives, according to the state government. Officials said that the government approached the guardians all of whom refused to send them to child care institutions. So, the children will now be officially placed under foster care and will also be provided with Rs 2,500 per child per month up to the age of 18 years, an official said.
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