With the Centre flagging the infirmities in Uttar Pradesh’s COVID fighting infrastructure, the state government on Wednesday said it has already ramped up its facilities, including ICU beds and ventilators, in the hospitals across the state.
Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari said that Uttar Pradesh will have around 52,000 isolation beds by next week. “At present, we do not have a single district that has less than 100 beds and we have drawn up a plan to have 52,000 beds by next week,” he said.
The Indian Express on April 27 reported that in the presentation made at the cabinet secretary’s meeting with state health secretaries on April 26, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam had the highest number of districts with grave shortages of three main kinds of equipment required for fighting coronavirus pandemic – isolation beds, ICU beds and ventilators. The presentation was based on the data up to April 23. According to the data, as many as 53 out of the 75 districts in UP have fewer than 100 isolation beds. Of the 53 districts, as per the data, 31 have reported coronavirus cases.
UP Chief Secretary said that the state has worked on its infrastructure and is in a much-improved position now. “We are updating the data also,” Tiwari told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, speaking to mediapersons in Lucknow, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that the provision for 52,000 additional beds will be made by Health Department as well as Medical Education Department on the direction of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “While 17,000 beds will be arranged by the Medical Health Department, the remaining 35,000 beds will be arranged by the Medical Education Department as soon as possible,” Awasthi said.
The Medical Health Department will arrange 10,000 beds in L-1 hospitals (mainly the community health centres), 5,000 beds in the L-2 hospitals (where oxygen facility is attached with the bed) and 2,000 in L-3 hospitals (where ventilators are available), he said.
Similarly, the Medical Education Department will arrange 20,000 beds in L-1 hospitals, 10,000 beds in L-2 hospitals and 5,000 beds in L-3 hospitals, Awasthi added.
Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that at present, there 1,769 patients in isolation wards and 11,748 in institutional quarantine. “We have also made a significant increase in the number of isolation and quarantine beds. On Tuesday, we notified 75 new units as L-l hospitals. With this, the number of isolation beds in the state has reached to 17,194 from around 10,000. The plan is to increase it further. Meanwhile, the number of quarantine beds has reached at 21,569 in the state,” Prasad added.
The state has now 155 L-1 hospitals, 78 L-2 hospitals and 6 L-3 hospitals. In addition to these, at least 28 private medical colleges have also been declared designated COVID hospitals in the state.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Tiwari said that the state government has also ramped up testing facilities. “Two months ago, the state had only one testing with 60 tests per day capacity. But now, we have 17 laboratories along with a few private ones, and we can conduct 5,000 tests a day. That’s quite a jump,” Tiwari added.
According to Tiwari, the eleven committees – also referred to as Team 11 — formed by the Chief Minister, are holding a review meeting every day. “With special directions from the Chief Minister, the government has taken care of vulnerable people, including migrant labourers, farmers and daily wagers. We have already given Rs 288 crore as financial assistance to labourers. Around 8.6 million pensioners have already received their pension in advance,” he said.
Amid criticism that the pandemic has worsened the communal situation in Uttar Pradesh, the top official said that contrary to the general impression, the Chief Minister has taken measures to see that atmosphere remained peaceful in the state. “The Chief Minister has held meetings with leaders of all religions – Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others – in every district to treat COVID-19 as an epidemic and instructed them to help people to follow the social distancing and lockdown protocols,” Tiwari added.
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