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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Readying for third wave, govt plans most paediatric O2 beds in 6 states

Under the final plan of the package, six states will get 60 percent of 75,218 beds that will be set up to augment the three-tier healthcare systems up to the village level.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
Updated: August 14, 2021 7:35:42 am
The rural parts of the country were among the worst hit during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.

Over 50 per cent paediatric oxygen beds, approved under the Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package, being rolled out to prepare in advance for a probable third wave will be set up in six states that predominantly have rural and peri-urban population, as per the final plan approved on Friday.

The rural parts of the country were among the worst hit during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.

Under the final plan of the package, six states will get 60 percent of 75,218 beds that will be set up to augment the three-tier healthcare systems up to the village level. The six states are Uttar Pradesh (11,770), Bihar (9,920), Andhra Pradesh (9,596), Odisha (8,206), Assam (7,320), and Jharkhand (5,798).

There is apprehension from several quarters that children could be the most vulnerable group in a possible third wave of Covid-19. On Friday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in consultation with the states, approved creation of 19,030 paediatric oxygen beds and 10,428 paediatric ICU beds, with the aim to augment infrastructure of paediatric care at the district level.

The granular data of the final plan shows that six states will get funding to set up more than 1,000 paediatric oxygen beds: UP (3,270), Madhya Pradesh (1,900), Maharashtra (1,500), Jharkhand (1,080), Bihar (1,060), and Chhattisgarh (1,020).

According to the plan, out of 10,428 paediatric ICU to be set up, eight states will get funding for setting up more than 450 beds: MP (1,704), UP (1,476), Maharashtra (684), Tamil Nadu (516), Rajasthan (492), Jharkhand (468), and Bihar (456).

Sources in the government said that the final plan has been taken based on the experience of the states in the second wave, which saw a huge demand for oxygen beds.

On the basis of inputs received by the states on experience of the second wave related to availability of beds, the Centre has approved the plan for creation of 23,056 ICU beds. Under the plan, seven states will set up more than 1,000 beds each: UP (4,007), Karnataka (3,021), Maharastra (2,970), West Bengal (1,874), Tamil Nadu (1,583), MP (1,138), and Andhra Pradesh (1,120).

On July 22, Rs 1827.80 crore was released to the states as 15 per cent advance to undertake the preparatory activities to implement Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package. On Friday, after approval of the final plan, a further 35 percent of the funds were released, the Health Ministry said.

Under the final plan, 5,749 life support ambulances will be added; and 433 RT PCR labs will be constructed to further augment testing facilities. Under the final plan, four states will get more than 30 new RT PCR labs: Gujarat (66), Madhya Pradesh (46), Bihar (38), and Uttar Pradesh (30).

The final plan, for the first time, has also approved hubs supported for telemedicine. Out of 733 hubs that will be set up, Rajasthan (359), West Bengal (86), and Bihar (38) will set up the maximum telemedicine hubs.

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